Skip to main content

Full text of "History of the early settlement and Indian wars of Western Virginia : embracing an account of the various expeditions in the West, previous to 1795 ; also, biographical sketches"

See other formats




Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 













Corresponding Member of the Maryland and New York Historical Societies. 

published by h. hoblitzell. 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by 

Wills De Hass, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Western District of 












It is sincerely regretted that circumstances should have arisen to 
delay the publication of the present volume beyond the time con- 
templated in the original prospectus. That delay, however, instead 
of impairing, will be found to have added to the merits of the work, 
by the opportunity which it has given to render more comprehensive 
its local character, and more accurate its general details. In the 
preparation of this work, we have encountered difficulties which at 
times appeared almost insurmountable. None but those who have 
attempted such a task, from so great a mass of apparently irrecon- 
cilable facts and statements as we have had to work upon, can form 
any conception of the labor and difficulty undergone. Starting out 
with the avowed determination to make the truth of history sub- 
stitute the error, we soon found that the line drawn would be 
a difficult and painful one to pursue ; for it necessarily compelled 
us to do violence to the feelings of some, and greatly disappoint 
the expectations of others. But, determined faithfully and impar- 
tially to discharge our obligations, we have strictly adhered to the 
course marked out, and enforced with rigid severity the rule adopted 
for our guidance. All statements of doubtful authority have been 
discarded, and no evidence received but that of the most unques- 
tionable character. A few errors may, nevertheless, have crept into 
our pages ; but these are believed to be unimportant as they were 
unavoidable. In the preparation of this volume, we have labored 


to present not a mere compilation of facts, but a history drawn 
from sources original and reliable. To accomplish this, the very- 
best means have been adopted ; public documents searched, private 
records examined; and the living witnesses who still linger among 
us, — sole depositories of many important historical facts, without 
which our annals would be incomplete, personally consulted. The 
labor has been difficult, annoying and e:spensive, as much of it could 
not be performed without considerable personal inconvenience. 

The early history of the West is full of most lively interest to 
readers, both at home and abroad ; and that which relates to Western 
Yirginia and its borders is so in an especial degree. Here it was that 
Washington received those severe lessons in war which prepared 
him for the great achievements he so gloriously performed in after 
life, and here was struck the first great blow in the struggle for 
American Independence. 

A distinctive feature of the work will be found in Part VII., 
containing biographical sketches of some of the prominent actors in 
our border wars ; — the men who, amid dangers, privations and suf- 
fering, founded, in the depth of the primeval forest, the institutions 
of freedom we now enjoy. It is a matter of great regret that the 
prescribed limits of the work could not permit the insertion of all 
the memoirs contemplated in the original design. This omission it 
is hoped to supply in a subsequent edition. 

Some other changes have also been made. The ground proposed 
to be gone over was found far too extensive to allow justice to be 
done each subject; and therefore, we determined to confine ourselves 
strictly to the three distinctive features of the work — History, Indian 
Wars, and Biography. This departure from the original plan cannot 
but render the volume more acceptable to the local as well as the 
general readei*. That part which we proposed to embrace under the 
head of a Topographical description of the North-western counties, 
will either be given in a subsequent edition, or embodied in a sepa- 


• rate work on tlie Present Condition, Kesources and Statistics of 
Western Virginia. There are one or two references in tlie text to 
the county notices proposed to be given, which the reader will 
understand without further explanation. 

In consequence of this departure from our original plan, some 
portions of the work have been prepared with considerable haste, 
and occasionally, the labors of others called into requisition. This 
course has been to a certain extent unavoidable ; the Author having 
recently received an appointment under the Government, which will 
require and engage both his time and attention. 

To the many kind friends who have furnished material and ex- 
tended facilities in the preparation of the present volume, the Author 
returns his sincere thanks. 

With these brief statements, explanations and acknowledgments, 
the volume is respectfully submitted to the public. 

W. De H. 

• May, 1851. 





America anterior to Columbus — Discovery by Columbus 16 


Eariy English Discoveries — Patent to Sir H. Gilbert — English in America — First 
Colony in Virginia — Jamestown Settlement — Its ultimate Influence 20 


Early French Discoveries — Cartier — Quebec Founded — Mississippi Discovered — 
Death of Marquette — La Salle 27 




Indian Towns on the Ohio — Governor Spottswood's Expedition — Order of the 
Golden Horse-Shoe , 33 


First Settlement of the Valley — Captivity of an Explorer — Early Description of 
the "West — Burden's Grant — Virginia Settlers — A Contrast 37 


Greenbriar Country — First Settlers "West of the Alleglianies — Corn Rights. ... 41 


Land Operations in the West — The Ohio Company — Grants to Land Companies — 
France Asserts her Claim — Convention at Logstown — Shingiss 43 

French and English Claims to the Ohio — Interesting Relic — Leaden Plates ... 48 


The Brewing Storm — Virginia Prepares to Assert her Rights — Movements in the 
West — Washington's Mission — His many Privations — Miraculous Escape — 
Washington's Humanity 52 


Fort at the Forks — Warlike Attitude of Virginia — Surrender of the Forks — Sum- 
mons of Contrecoeur — Fort Du Quesne — Washington on the Mountains — His 
First Battle — Fort Necessity — French Attack — A Parley — Capitulation — The 
Terms — Vote of Thanks to the Virginians — Acknowledgment — Error Corrected 
— Lancaster Treaty ....'. 58 

PAKT rn. 



First Settlement on the Monongahela — Early Settlers — Discoveries by Hunters — 
Home in the WUderness — The Lonely Man — Some of the First Settlers — Rapid 
Emigration 73 


First Settlement at Wheeling — Settlement at Grave Creek — Emigrants — An 
Incident — Early Settlers — Spirit of the First Settlers — Their Energy and 
Patriotism — Habits and Character — Content and Happiness — Increased Emi- 
gration — Pioneer Life 80 



Primitive Customs — Acquiring Land — Furniture, Diet, Dress, etc. — The Fort — 
Places of Defence — Hunting — Pioneer Wedding — Considerate Custom — House 
"Warming — Sports — Amusements 90 




Expedition of Eraddoek — Braddock's Army on the Mountains — Braddock's Field 
^The Battle — The Defeat — Washington — Character of Braddoek — Unfitness 
for Indian Warfare — Relics 105 


Indian Depredations — William Pitt — Expedition against Fort Du Quesne — Grant's 
Defeat — Destruction of Fort Du Quesne — Overthrow of French Power 115 


Indian Jealousy — Pontiac — Bouquet's Expedition — Admirable Stratagem — Brad- 
dock's Route — Who Killed Braddoek? — Sash Worn by Braddoek — General 
Taylor — An Incident 121 




Peace Movements — Detroit Treaty — Bouquet's Expedition in Ohio — Croghan 
Visits the Wabash 131 


Indian Hatred of the British— Land Companies — Treaty at Fort Stanwix — Vir- 
ginia Lands — Mississippi Company — Movements in the West — Washington on 
the Ohio , 135 



The War of 1774 — Early Causes — Connolly's Mission — Murders on the Ohio — 
Captain Cresap — Murder of Logan's Family — Clark's Statement — Kill-Buck 
and Cresap — Cresap Exonerated 142 


Indians Retaliating — Colonel McDonald — Indian Towns Destroyed — Logan 150 


Dunmore's Campaign — Battle of Point Pleasant — Defeat of the Savages — The 
Indian Army — The Sufferers — Lewis Ordered to Return — Cornstalk Opposed 
to War — Logan's Speech — Dunmore's Motives for Peace — Historical Error — 
Dunmore Sustained 154 

Indians Employed as Allies — Britain Offers Bounty for Scalps 168 


Cornstalk Visits Point Pleasant — Gives Important Intelligence — Murder of Corn- 
stalk—His Character ' 170 


Renewal of Indian Hostilities — Fort Mcintosh Built — Fort Laurens — Investment 
of the Fort— Relief Afforded 174 


Colonel Brodhead's Campaign — Rendezvous at Wheeling — Indian Towns Taken 
— Treacherous Murder 179 


Williamson's Campaign — Expedition Organized — Arrival at the Towns — Indians 
Surrender — Atrocious Murder — Colonel Williamson's Part — Character of the 
Men 182 


Crawford's Campaign — Rendezvous at Mingo Bottom — Indian Vigilance — Retreat 
of the Army — Captivity of Colonel Crawford — Disastrous Issue — Clark's Opera- 
tions in the West — He Conquers Illinois — Arrest of Hamilton 189 



Closing Military Operations in the "West — Relinquishment of Indian Title — St. 
Clair's Expedition — Wayne's Victory 197 




Depredations East of the Mountains — Captivity of Mrs. NefF^Historical Errors 
— Attack on Fort Edwards — Whites made Prisoners — Burning a Prisoner — 
Massacre at Seybert's Fort — A Modern Samson — Just Rebuke — Indian Depre- 
dations — Murders and Escapes — A Formidable Foe — Origin of "Long-Knives" 
— Captivity of Mrs. Renick — Greenbriar Settlements Destroyed — Courageous 
Woman — Surprise of a Family — The Bloody Tear — Murder of Mrs. Grigsby — 
Fort Crawford Erected — Siege of Fort Henry — Indian Army under Girty — De- 
feat of Captain Mason — Captain Ogle's Defeat — Girty's Demand to Surrender 
— The Attack Commenced — Signal Failure — Siege Raised — Captain Foreman 
— The Ambuscade — Timely Aid from the Scouts— Surprise a Camp — Family 
Murdered — Unavailing Pursuit — Death of Grandstaff — General Indian War — 
Attack on Harbert's Block-House — A Savage Monster — Outrages — Fort Ran- 
dolph Attacked — Attack on Donally's House — Indian Murders — Death of Mrs. 
Freeman — Successful Deception — Severe Loss — Morgan's Rencontre — A Dream 
— Shoots one of the Indians — A Desperate Struggle — Revolting Barbarity — 
Affair at Martin's Fort — Death of a Young Lady — Murder of Mr. Schoolcraft's 
Family — Captivity and Death of Mrs. AVallace — Murder of Captain Thomas' 
Family — Singular Fatality — Wheeling Threatened — Indians Before the Fort — 
Affair at Link's Block-House — Back Settlements Attacked — A Dangerous Man 
— Depredations near Clarksburgh — Second Attack on Wheeling — Whisky — 
Almost a Disaster — Enemy Demand a Surrender — Hero-Women — Wooden Can- 
non — Prisoner — An Incident — Noble Conduct of a Female — Injustice of History 
— Attack on Rice's Fort — Successful Defence — Dillie's Block-House — Fate of 
the Piatt Family — Murder of the Tait Family — American Cannibalism — Death 
of Hugh Cameron — Fort Henry — Historical Error Corrected — Losses by Fore- 
man's Defeat — Statement of Mrs. Cruger — Defenders of Fort Henry 201 


Miraculous Escape — Affair at Grave Creek — Captivity of Mrs. Cunningham — 
Death of her Children — Captivity of John Wetzel — The Enemy Surprised — 
Captive Released— Murder of Doolin — Attack on a Family — Captivity of Mrs. 
Frances Scott — Escape of Mrs. Scott — Two Sisters Killed — Account by an Eye- 


Witness — Death of Mr. Strait — Bloody Scene — The Western Heroines — Prowess 
of a Woman — The Beeham Affair — Confusion of Dates — The Johnson Boys — 
Successful Deception — Resolve to Kill their Captors — Death of the Indians — 
Courageous Boy — Surprising a Family — Captivity of Mrs. Glass — Pursuit and 
Rescue — Neil's Block-House — Escape of Carpenter — The Grice Massacre — De- 
struction of a Family — Attack on Kirkwood's Cabin— Manly Defence — -Relief 
for Wheeling — -Fatal Decoy — -Hunters Surprised — Fatal Sport — Massacre of 
Jolly's Family— Captain Van Buskirk— Party of Whites Defeated— The Tush 
Murder — Family Murdered — Two Brothers Killed — A Dead Shot — Attack on 
Mr. Armstrong — Indian Violence — Death of Proctor — Letter from Mr. Darby 
— Interesting Statement — Grateful Remembrance 282 




Colonel Ebexezer Zane — 

First Visit to the West — A Change — Personal History — Remarks — Employed by 
Congress — Zane Family 331 

Major Samuel McColloch — 

Difficulties in the Way of the Historian — Pursued by the Savages — The Leap — 
Death of the Hero — Question of Identity 338 

Le-stis Wetzel — 

The Great Borderer — His Character — Death of the Elder Wetzel — Captivity and 
Escape — Hunter's Life — Unparalleled Feat — Remarkable Trait — Singular Mode 
of Warming — Attacks an Indian Camp — Fearful Scene — A Quandary — Arrested 
for Killing an Indian — Escapes — Swims the Ohio HandcuflFed — Attempt to Re- 
take Him — Popular Indignation — Pursuit of a Captive — Rescues a Young Lady 
— Imprisonment at New Orleans — Indian Cunning Outwitted — The Way it was 
Done — Personal Appearance 344 

Andrew Poe — 

Poe and Big-Foot — Character and Appearance — Thrilling Incident — Powerful 
Antagonist— Fearful Struggle— Death of Big-Foot— A Bold Act 355 

Colonel William Crawford — 

An Early Surveyor — Defeated by the Indians — Savages Pursue Him — Captivity 
— Condemnation to the Stake — Preparation for Burning — Horrid Scene ... 372 


Captain Samuel Beadt — 

Leader of the Spies — Security Aiforded by the Spies — Secret Mission Successfully 
Executed — Rescue of a "Woman and Child — Battle of Brady's Bend — Prepares 
for a Scout — Discovers an Indian Camp — The Lone Indian — Makes Him Cap- 
tive — Treachery and its Consequences — A Terrible Alternative — Attempt to 
Ambush 382 


Sketch of the Lewis Family — Perilous Situation — Successful Defence — A Virginia 
Matron — Character of General Lewis — Personal Appearance 393 

General Daniel Brodhead — 

Ancestry of General Brodhead— Appointed to Western Division — Letter from 
General Washington — Proceeds against the Indians — Proposition to take De- 
troit — Retires from the West 400 

Jesse Hughes — 

A Mountain Hunter — An Incident — His Sagacity — Outwits the Indian — Another 
"Turkey" Caught— Old Eort at Morgantown 407 






Up to the close of the fifteenth century the vast continent 
of America was wholly unknown to European nations. How 
painful is the reflection, that previous to the discovery by 
Columbus, this great Western World is destitute of history 
or chronology ! That it was inhabited centuries ago, by a 
people far superior to the uncivilized Red Man, found here 
by the Europeans, the evidences are too strong to admit the 
shadow of a doubt. We trace them in their vast and myste- 
rious monumental remains, stretching from the far North to 
the extreme South ; from the Atlantic on the East to the Pa- 
cific on the West. 

But who were they ? Whence came and whither went that 
race ? Contemporary history furnishes no aid, for they were 
isolated from all the world beside. Alas, they have faded 
from the earth without leaving a vestige of their history be- 
hind : the remembrance of their deeds lives not even in tra- 
dition nor legendary song. One by one, they have, as a 
nation, risen, flourished and disappeared, beyond the re- 
motest memory of man, with all their greatness, their glory 



and tlieir pride. The beautiful apostrophe of Campbell, to 
a mummy in Belzoni's collection, frail relic of a once noble 
and intellectual being, can with much truth be applied to 
the ancients of America, — 

Antiquity appears to liave begun, 
Long after tlieir primeval race was run. 

Phoenician, Scandinavian, British and Danish tradition, 
separately lay claim to an early acquaintance with the West- 
ern Continent ; but their accounts are equally vague and 
hypothetical, and for all historical purposes, entitled to but 
little consideration. As to the Sagas of the Icelanders and 
Norwegians, about which so much has recently been written, 
we must receive them with every degree of caution, since they 
come to us in such a dreamy and unsatisfactory manner as to 
render them almost useless for the purpose of the historian. 
But, it is not our wish at this time, to enter into an inquiry 
upon the highly interesting subject of American Antiquities. 
At another time, and in another place, we may take occasion 
to refer to this matter more in detail. 

As to the discovery and settlement of the continent ante- 
rior to Columbus, the character and limits of a work like this 
would preclude the possibility of saying much. It is enough 
at this time, to know that these immense regions were laid 
open to European enterprise by the genius and energy of that 
illustrious navigator. To him is due the credit of bringing 
to light a new continent, and changing the whole current of 
affairs on the old. Columbus, it is believed, availed himself 
of no information touching a former discovery.^ He knew 
nothing, it is asserted, either of the attempt, or alleged suc- 
cess of the Northmen. His frail barks ploughed the uncharted 
seas through which ships had never moved. His men des- 
paired, but Columbus never lost confidence of success. " He 
never spoke in doubt or hesitation, but with as much certainty 
as if his eye had beheld the promised land."^ 

1 Belknap's Am. Biog. i. 86. ^ Irving's Columbus, 1. 25. 




Who can contemplate the greatness and character of the 
services conferred upon mankind by this single achievement 
of the Genoese Navigator, without feeling lost in the grand 
scale of future probabilities ? 

Who can say what will be its ultimate influence upon the 
various nations of the earth ? Who can estimate the extent 
and incalculable advantages it has already conferred on the 
Western hemisphere ? The primeval wilderness, filled with 
fierce beasts and savage man, has become the chosen abode 
of more than twenty millions of freemen ; the seat of vast 
Commonwealths, blessed with the joys, the comforts and the 
arts of civilized life, in all their shapes and varieties of re- 
fined intellectual existence. 


20 cabot's discoveries. [Chap. II. 



Before entering upon the subject of our local history, it may 
not be amiss to glance briefly at the earliest successive efl'orts 
of monarchs, adventurers, and discoverers to colonize the 
Western Hemisphere. It is not proposed to notice, in detail, 
the progress of cis-Atlantic discovery, as that belongs more 
appropriately to a History of the United States. We may 
with justice and propriety, however, claim to occupy a brief 
space in a preliminary survey of the efforts of France and 
England to effect footholds on the North American continent. 
This we deem essential to a proper elucidation of our subject, 
as most of the difficulties encountered by the people of the 
western parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania, undoubtedly 
grew out of the contending claims of those two powers for 
supremacy in the west. The earliest English claim to sove- 
reignty in this country was based upon the discoveries of 
John and Sebastian Cabot, father and son, who, acting under 
a commission from Henry the Seventh, to " sail in the Eas- 
tern, Western, and Northern Seas, to search for continents, 
islands, or regions hitherto unseen by Christian people," and 
to plant the flag of Britain upon any country thus discovered. 
Sailing with these instructions, they discovered the continent 
of North America near Labrador, on the 24th of January, 
1497. Running along the whole extent of our coast, 
[1497.] £^,Qj^ ^j^g gg^i^ ^g ^j^g g^th degree of North latitude, 

these English adventurers took possession of the country in 
the name of that monarch, with the privilege of holding it to 
the exclusion of all other persons. This patent, embodying 

1497-1578.] PATENT TO SIR H. GILBERT. 21 

as it did the very "worst features of colonial monopoly," was 
abrogated in the following year, and a new one, breathing a 
more enlightened spirit, issued in the name of John Cabot. 
Under this new grant extensive explorations were made by 
Sebastian Cabot, one of the most distinguished navigators of 
his age. Great, however, as were these discoveries, but little 
was done by the British Crown, during the next half century, 
to take formal possession, by actual settlement, of the newly 
acquired regions. 

The first Tudor, so happily described as 

"Proud, dark, suspicious, brooding o'er his gold," 

could see no propriety in diminishing the number of his sub- 
jects at home by sending them to distant climes ; while Henry 
VIII., and his celebrated minister. Cardinal Wolsey, had 
quite enough to attend to, without allowing them either time, 
means, or inclination, to fish up continents from the "vasty 
deep," or " annex" unexplored provinces, peopled by savages, 
who had never heard of Harry, Luther, or Pope Clement VII. 

It was not, indeed, until the splendid conquests of the 
Spaniards in the West Indies, Mexico, and South America 
had excited the cupidity of Elizabeth, that any effectual 
attempts, on the part of Britain, at further exploration or 
colonization were made. 

In 1578, the attention of the English govern- 
ment was directed to the importance of colonization, ■- '-^ 
by Sir Walter Raleigh, whose genius and enterprise were equal 
to any undertaking. He procured a patent for Sir Humphrey 
Gilbert, (half brother of Raleigh) who, in 1583, at- v--, rnq -, 
tempted a settlement upon the sterile coast of New '- "-^ 
Foundland; but, of course, was compelled to abandon it as 
wholly unsuitable for an English colony. A second expe- 
dition was fitted out in 1584, under a direct grant ^^ ^^, ., 

. . . [1584. 1 

to Raleigh himself. This expedition sailed under ■- '-" 

the auspices of Sir Richard Grenville, a near relative of Sir 
Walter. It consisted of two small vessels, commanded by 


experienced officers, and sailed from London in April of that 
year. In July, a landing was effected on an inlet of North 
Carolina, ("Wocoken, supposed to be the present Ocracock.^) 
Here the party remained until September, when, becoming dis- 
couraged by reverses and disappointments incident to a set- 
tlement in an unbroken -wilderness, they sailed for home, 
taking with them two natives, Manteo and Wanchese. 

On their return, they gave the most glowing description of 
the country visited, representing it as a region where nature 
appeared clothed with the most brilliant colors, and abounded 
in fruit, game, fish, &c. 

A third expedition was at once determined upon, and fitted 
out with the least practicable delay. It sailed under the 
broad pennant of Sir Richard Grenville, and reached Roa- 
noke about the middle of June (1585). Out of this expedition, 
one hundred and eight men were left on the island, (Roanoke) 
with a supply of provisions for two years. 

The new colonists embraced some of the most energetic and 
vigorous-minded men who had yet left the mother country. 

Sir Richard, having appointed Ralph Lane, Governor of 
the Colony, returned to England. By this expedition, Man- 
teo was restored to his friends, and became invaluable to the 
colonists as guide and interpreter. 

A year's residence, however, in the unbroken solitudes of 
the New World, proved quite enough to cool the ardor of the 
colonists, and make them determine to leave by the first op- 
portunity. They had no idea of being longer made instru- 
mental in extending the "area of freedom." Shortly after, 
(1586) Sir Francis Drake arrived with his fleet, and despite 
his entreaties every soul left for England. 

Scarcely had the colonists departed, when Sir "Walter 
Raleigh,^ in company with Sir R. Grenville, Hariot, Caven- 

» Bancroft, i. 105. 

2 Howison, i. 47, says, " Sir Walter himself never visited North America." 
This has long been a common and erroneous belief. Bennett's Manuscript 
History states most positively that he did come over at the time designated, 


dish, and otlier distinguished men, arrived at Roanoke. Sir 
Walter Raleigh was greatly disappointed and chagrined at 
the failure of their favorite scheme. Not discouraged, how- 
ever, he succeeded in persuading fifteen men to remain on 
the island, while he returned home, and sent out (1587) a 
new expedition, under the command of Captain John White. 
On reaching Virginia, a party was sent to hunt up the men 
left on the island, but all was silent as the grave ; naught, 
save the whitening bones of a single victim, gave any clue to 
their melancholy fate. All, it is supposed, fell a prey to 
savage cruelty. 

White was made governor of the colony, and was assisted 
by twelve councillors. One of these (Annaias Dare) was 
White's son-in-law, and shortly after the arrival of the little 
band of colonists, was signalized an event not unworthy of 
note in the early annals of Virginia, — that event was no- 
thing less, than the birth of the first white child in North 

White having, as he supposed, comfortably secured the 
emigrants, returned to England, with the view of making 
further arrangements for increasing the little r » ^ o^n 
colony, and promoting the interests of those left 

White found on his return, the government and people full 
of anxious solicitude to meet the threatened Spanish invasion. 
But Raleigh, true to his purpose of securing a per- 
manent settlement in Virginia, despatched White with '- ^ 
two ships of supplies for the relief of the colonists. Instead 
of proceeding at once to the colony. White engaged in captur- 
ing Spanish prizes, until at last overcome, he lost all, and was 
compelled to return to England, to the great chagrin and dis- 
appointment of his noble and generous friend and patron. 

. .^ 

' This child was the daughter of Annaias and Eleanor Dare, and christ- 
ened "Virginia," after their adopted country. She was born August 18th, 
1587, and with her parents and the colonists perished, it is supposed, by the 
hands of savages. 

24 JAMESTOWN settlement: [Chap. II. 

*'IEhe Invincible Armada of Spain " had to be overcome, 
and the safety of England herself secured, before another 
effort could be made to succor the colony at Roanoke. 

It was not until another year had passed, that White could 

be sent in aid of the colonists. On arriving at the 

■■J seat of the colony, what was his alarm to find, as the 

only vestige of his people, a vague inscription pointing to 

Croatan as the place to which they had gone. 

The fate of the colonists has never been satisfactorily ascer- 
tained. The presumption is, they all fell victims to savage 
power. Some have indulged the idea that they amalgamated 
with the Hatteras Indians ; but while humanity may dictate 
such a hope, " credulity must entertain a doubt of the truth 
of the hypothesis." 

White soon after returned to England, in hopeless despair 
of ever hearing again from his hapless friends or unfortunate 

Sir Walter is said to have sent several times in search 
of his "liege men," but nothing satisfactory was ever as- 

Sir Walter, having forfeited his patent by attainder, 
James the First granted a new patent for all our territory, 
from the 34th to the 45th degree, under the general name of 
Virginia ; a name previously conferred by Elizabeth in refer- 
ence to her own unmarried state. The South Virginia divi- 
sion extended from Cape Hatteras to New York, and the 
first colonization of the new patentees was made at Jamestown, 
on James' river. May 13th, 1607. 

The settlement of Jamestown, has by some, and with much 
truth, been termed the most important event since the era of 
the Reformation. Who can properly estimate the ultimate 
influence it is destined to exercise upon the future history of 
the world? 

Within the entire range of recorded history, we know 
of no more grand and imposing spectacle than the land- 
ing of that little band of hardy pilgrims, with the deter- 


mination, come weal or woe, to plant tlien and there, a colony 
that should be self-sustaining and self-relying. 

The heroic Smith and his resolute companions tlun^ laid 
broad and deep the corner stone, upon which has since been 
reared the proud temple of American Liberty. Aye, those 
men, seeking homes in the wilderness of the West, unconsci- 
ously planted the germ of a nation that was destined to spring 
forth in the fulness of its strength, and startling the tyrants 
of Europe in their seats of power, cause them to feel that the 
" divine right " no longer existed — that the young giant of 
the West had inflicted a blow which shook the foundations 
of their very thrones. Great have been the regrets of 
Britain^ at the success of the "American experiment;" but 
all such regrets will be more futile than even her efforts 
to roll back the flame of freedom, or check its mounting to 
meridian splendor ! The fabric which has grown from the 
plantation of the colonies at Jamestown, at Plymouth, on the 
Island of Manhattan, on the banks of the Mississippi, and 
along the borders of our great inland seas, now stands the 
mark and model, the admiration and wonder of the world ! 
The vicissitudes of five and seventy years, while they have 
shaken down the pillars of most of the corrupt monarchies 
of earth, have but proven to mankind the indestructible ma- 
terial of the plain temple of Republican Freedom. 

Of the gallant Captain Smith, the most devoted of the 
chivalrous spirits at Jamestown, it might be expected we 
would say something. In consequence, however, of our 
circumscribed limits, we can only add, that his accomplished 
address, great skill, consummate bravery, indomitable cour- 
age, and devoted patriotism, mark him as one of the first men 
of his age. The story of his captivity by the Indians — his 
trial, condemnation and preparation for death — his timely 

' It has been -well said by Sir. Jefferson, that " the ball of the Kevolution 
received its first impulse, not from the actors in that event, but from the 
first colonists." 

2 London Times, Dec. 23, 1848. 



[Chap. II. 

rescue by tlie beautiful Indian girl Pocbaliontas, wbo threw 
herself upon his person, and averted the blow of the savage — 
one of the most remarkable instances of true philanthropy 
upon record — is too familiar to all readers of American 
history, to be given here. Suffice it, that Smith was the 
master spirit of the colony; and to his discriminating judg- 
ment, keen sense of right and wrong, and his enlightened 
policy towards the Indians, may be ascribed the fact, that 
the little band of adventurers did not share a fate similar to 
that of the unfortunate colonists of Roanoke. 





Trance, witli her characteristic spirit of enterprise, could 
not long remain inactive when other maritime nations were 
extending their dominion, and explorations throughout the 
vast field laid open by Columbus. At a very early day she 
discovered the importance of the Northern fisheries. In 1524 
John Verrazzani a Florentine mariner, while sailing under a 
commission from Francis the First, ranged the coast of North 
America from Wilmington, North Carolina, to the 50th degree 
of North latitude. He landed at several points, and called 
the country Neiu France^ and this constituted the claim of 
France to her American possessions. In 1534 a new expe- 
dition was fitted out, commanded by James Cartier, ^^ ^^, ., 

. ri534.1 

who was the first European to penetrate the river ^ '-• 

St. Lawrence, and give an intelligent description of the coun- 
try. After sailing up that river until he could " see land on 
both sides," which he claimed and declared French territory, 
Cartier returned to France, and gave such a glowing descrip- 
tion of the newly discovered regions, as to induce Francis I. 
to take immediate steps for farther exploration and coloniza- 
tion. Accordingly, three ships, well manned and provided, 

set sail, and on the tenth of August, 1535, ^. _ ^ ^-r,,--, 

. . , ^ p ^, c?^ T • [Aug. 10, lt)35.] 

came m sight oi the fet. Lawi'ence, m com- l es ? j 

memoration of which fact Cartier named the bay and river 

after that martyr. Ascending the river, he discovered the 

island of Montreal. Leaving his fleet, he visited an Indian 

village on the lower part of the island, called by them 

Hochelaga. After a short stay, Cartier made his way to the 


summit of a rugged mountain, which his guide had informed 
him commanded a view of the adjacent country. With much 
difficulty he reached the top, and emerging from a dense 
forest upon a bluff, rocky point, a prospect burst upon the 
astonished and delighted Frenchman, which it would be vain 
to attempt to describe. Hundreds of feet beneath, and 
stretching around for miles, lay the sylvan landscape in all 
its wild luxuriance of summer clothing, slightly variegated by 
the first tinge of early autumn. The clear, sparkling waters 
of the St. Lawrence wound along in the distance like cords 
of silver, presenting a scene such as he had never before wit- 
nessed. Enraptured with the prospect before him, and filled 
with anticipations of its future glory, he named it Montreal. 
Erecting a cross bearing the arms of France, and an inscrip- 
tion declaring Francis I. to be the sovereign of the territory, 
he returned to his fleet, and soon after sailed for home. 

Intestinal feuds, with a variety of other causes, prevented 
anything farther being done for more than half a century. In 
1608, one year after the founding of Jamestown, Admiral 
Champlain was sent out at the head of another expedition. 
In the same year he founded Quebec, and associating with 
him a party of Hurons and Algonquins, traversed the wilds 
of that Northern region, penetrating to the beautiful lake 
which now bears his name, where he spent the winter. 

He subsequently erected the castle of St. Louis at Quebec, 
thus establishing the authority of France in the New World. 
French emigrants continued to arrive, and the dominion of 
France to increase, until her influence was felt and extended 
from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Many of those Avho thus forsook their jDleasant homes on 
the banks of the Seine, were missionaries of the Cross ; who 
not content to settle down with their friends on the shores of 
the St. Lawrence, pushed forward into the wilderness, in the 
sacred discharge of their religious trusts. With the Bible in 
one hand and a cross in the other, they threaded the sombre 
shade of those dark old woods ; and often with a bowlder of 

1668-74.] MISSISSIPPI discovered. 29 

granite for a footstool, and the eternal cataracts thundering 
amid the everlasting solitudes, for an organ, those devout men, 
preached to the unlettered children of the forest, of " Christ 
crucified" that they might live. 

Among those who thus went abroad in the sacred character 
of missionary, was Father Marquette, a recollect Monk. He 
had heard from the simple-minded natives of an " endless 
river" in the far West, which came from, — they knew not 
where ; and went, — they knew not whither. Strongly im- 
pressed with a belief, common at that day, that a passage 
could be effected by water, to the Pacific, he determined to 
undertake an expedition to the West. Accordingly, 
in company with an Indian trader named Joliet, in ^ "J 
the year 1668, he proceeded to St. Mary's, and was there 
joined by Allouez, a Jesuit Missionary, of many years in- 
tercourse with the natives. These three, with an Indian for 
a guide, paddled their light pirouge over the restless waters 
of Lake Michigan, and effected a landing upon its western 
shore. Marquette was perfectly fascinated with the great 
beauty of the country, — the fertility of its soil, and grandeur 
of its scenery. Pushing on into the wilderness, the devout 
Missionary, lit up at the council fires of wondering natives, 
the sacred torch of the Christian's faith. Reaching at last, 
the waters of a considerable stream, (Wisconsin) they de- 
scended it, and on the morning of the 17th of June, 1673, 
discovered the great Father of Waters, which afforded them 
"joy," says Marquette, "that I cannot express." Kneeling 
down on the banks of that ancient river, they returned thanks ; 
and thus went up the first white man's prayer, that ever broke 
the silence of those solitary wilds. Descending the Missis- 
sippi to the mouth of the Arkansas, and satisfying themselves 
that it emptied into the Gulf of Mexico, they retraced their 
steps to the Illinois, thence up that river and across to where 
Chicago now stands. Here Marquette concluded to 
remain and preach to the Indians, while Joliet pro- ■- '-■ 
ceeded to Green Bay and gave information of the discovery. 


Continuing for a time to preach to the simple-minded natives, 
„ „^ Marquette finally sailed for Mackinaw, but putting 
'- '-' into a small river in Michigan, which still bears his 
name, went ashore, and desired that he might not be disturbed 
for half an hour. Erecting a rude altar on that lonely beach, 
he " knelt down by its side, and sank to sleep, to wake no 
more." Becoming uneasy at his long absence, search was 
made, and he was found as described. His companions buried 
him on the spot where he had breathed his last ; a " light 
breeze from the Lake sighed his requiem, and the Algonquin 
nation became his mourners." 

Thus died the discoverer of the Upper Mississippi. His 
was the first white man's grave ever dug in the magnificent 
solitudes of the Great West ; which were yet to repose in the 
slumber of ages ere they should be trodden by the footsteps 
of civilization. 

The discoveries of Marquette, although permitted to slum- 
ber for a season, were the means of inducing M. de la Salle, 
commandant at Fort Frontenac, now Kingston, to undertake, 
in 1679, a second expedition to the West. In company with 
Father Hennepin, a Monk of the Order of Franciscan, and 
thirty-four men, he set sail in a small vessel of forty tons, 
named the " Griffin,'' — the first of its class that ever ploughed 
the waves of our great Northern Lakes. What a world of 
thought is called up by the recital of this simple fact ! The 
birchen canoe of the simple-hearted native, and the miniature 
ship of La Salle, have been multiplied by the magic wand of 
commerce, until those vast inland seas have become literally 
white with sails, and their waters murmur with the rush of 
keels. Prosperous cities, like sea sybils with their 'tiara of 
proud towers,' now occupy the shores of those then desolate 
lakes ; while a population of millions, blessed with all the arts 
and refinements of civilized life, throng their borders of many 
thousand miles. 

La Salle having reached the mouth of Chicago river, dis- 
embarked, and crossing the country, descended the Illinois 

1675-87.] LA SALLE. 31 

river to near where Peoria now stands. He there erected a 
fort which in the bitterness of his heart he called Creve Coeur, 
(broken heart) chiefly on account of the hopeless difficulties 
which beset him. Having completed his fort, and despatched 
Hennepin to explore the country north, La Salle returned 
to Frontenac for additional men and means. Hennepin struck 
across the country to the Mississippi, and ascended above the 
falls, to which he gave the name St. Anthony. Hennepin 
afterwards claimed to have discovered the source of the Mis- 

La Salle rejoined his companions (1682) and building a 
small vessel, sailed down the Mississippi " to the sea." He 
called the country Louisiana, in honor of his sovereign, Louis 

On returning, a portion of the company were left at Caho- 
kia, Kaskaskia, &c., where, for a time, flourished luxuriantly, 
the snow-white lily, opening its fragrant beauties to the en- 
raptured gaze of tawny savages. 

La Salle made his way back to Canada, thence sailed for 
France ; and on a subsequent visit to the mouth of ^■^pc^rr -. 
the Mississippi, was assassinated by one of his own "- '^ 

We have thus endeavored to present, in a succinct form, 
some of the principal events connected with the early move- 
ments and discoveries of the French, on the continent of 
North America. This has been deemed necessary, in order 
the more fully to elucidate some of the points of history 
upon which we shall have occasion to touch in the progress 
of our inquiry. 

PAET 11. 




When the whites first penetrated the beautiful valley of 
the Upper Ohio, they found it occupied by numerous and 
powerful tribes of hostile savages, who held it more as a 
common hunting ground than a place of permanent abode. 

With the exception of Logstown, eighteen miles below the 
forks of the Monongahela and Alleghany ; a Mingo village 
at the mouth of Beaver ; a Shawanee town near the Great 
Kanawha, and another near the Scioto, but few native settle- 
ments were to be found on the banks of the " River of 
Blood:'' the fearfully significant name given by some of the 
tribes of Indians to the beautiful stream which sweeps along 
our Western border. 

Tradition tells of many a bloody battle along the shores of 
this grand old river, over whose sylvan banks has so often 
rushed the crimson tide of Indian massacre. Many, indeed, 
are said to have been the warlike feats here enacted, between 
bands of fierce and savage warriors. Here it was that the 
stern Iriquois met the equally determined and relentless 
Massawomee, and maintained those long and bloody strifes 

3 . 


which ultimately imparted to the whole region the very ap- 
propriate title of "dark and bloody ground."^ 

The most powerful confederacy of native tribes, found here 
by the French and English, was the Massawomees, so called 
by the Indians of Eastern Virginia, to whom they were a 
constant source of dread and alarm. 

The Massawomees occupied, to the exclusion of almost 
every other tribe, the entire region stretching from the Blue 
Eidge to the Ohio river.^ The encroachments of the whites 
compelled them gradually to retire, until at last they were 
forced over the Alleghanies, leaving the "Valley" unoccu- 
pied, save by occasional predatory bands of Southern tribes. 

But the march of the Anglo-Saxon westward was slow in 
the extreme. It was not until more than one hundred years 
had elapsed from the settlement of Jamestown, that a pro- 
ject was conceived for crossing the great rocky barrier, whose 
frowning heights seemed to shut out all communication be- 
tween the primitive settler and the region west. 

In 1710, Lieutenant Governor Spottswood, whese military 
genius, as displayed in the campaigns of Marlborough, had 
won the esteem of his sovereign, and'secured him the appoint- 
ment of Colonial Governor in Virginia, determined to explore 
the trans-montane region. He had heard of the great beauty 
and extent of the country lying between the parallel moun- 
tains, but of the region beyond the Alleghany nothing defi- 
nite could be ascertained, as the most daring adventurer had 
rarely tried to surmount its rugged height, and scan the out- 
spread landscape which opened its charms to the setting sun. 

Equipping a company of horsemen. Gov. Spottswood headed 
it in person, and commenced his march from Williamsburg in 
great pomp. Nothing occurred to mar the interest of the 
occasion, and in due time the expedition reached the Valley. 

' It is a common belief tliat this title was given alone to what now consti- 
tutes the State of Kentucky. But this is a mistake : it was applied with 
equal force to most of the country bordering the Upper Ohio. 

2 Jefferson's Notes, 181. 


The governor was enraptured with the view. Bright flowers, 
rendered doubly beautiful by the transparent purity of the 
atmosphere and the deep serenity of the azure heavens, 
covered the ground in almost every direction. Amid forests 
of fragrant trees, or deep hid in perfumed alcoves, — spots 
more enchantingly beautiful than were ever graced by Ca- 
lypso and her nymphs ; they found those mysterious Hygeian 
fountains whose health-preserving properties now enjoy a 
world-wide fame. Pushing on, the expedition at length reached 
the base of the Alleghanies, and struggling upward through 
rugged defile, and over frowning precipice, the intrepid go- 
vernor, with his little party, at length gained the summit of 
that great mountain barrier. Never, perhaps, before had the 
voice of civilized man broken the solitude which reigned 
around. The point attained, commanded a magnificent view 
of the outspread country beyond. It was one of the highest 
peaks of the great Appalachian range ; and gazing down into 
the illimitable wilderness, they there resolved that the whole 
extent should be peopled, and the forest be made to blossom 
as the rose. How well the spirit which prompted that reso- 
lution has been carried out by the descendants of the Vir- 
ginia colonists, let the eight or ten millions of happy and 
prosperous people who now throng the great Valley of the 
West answer. 

After the return of Governor Spottswood and his party, 
he established the " Transmontane Order ^ or Kniglits of the 
Crolden Horse-Shoe" giving to each of those who accompa- 
nied him a miniature golden horse-shoe, bearing the inscrip- 
tion, ^'' Sic jurat transcendere Ifontes."^ 

1 " Thus lie sicears to cross the mountains." The writer of the Outline in 
Howe says that Gov. S. was knighted for this achievement, and had conferred 
upon him a golden horse-shoe, with the above motto, for his coat of arms. 
He evidently labors under a mistake, as we find no authority for such a state- 




In 1732, the first permanent settlement by whites west of 
the Blue Ridge, was made near where Winchester now stands. 
Sixteen families from Pennsylvania, headed by Joist Hite, 
composed this little colony, and to them is due the credit of 
having first planted the standard of civilization in Virginia, 
west of the mountains.-^ 

In 1734, Benjamin Allen, with three others, settled on 
the North Branch of the Shenandoah, about twelve 
L 'J miles south of the present town of Woodstock. 
Other adventurers pushed on, and settlements gradually ex- 
tended west, crossing Capon River, North Mountain and the 
Alleghany range, until finally they reached the tributaries of 
the Monongahela. 

The majority of those who settled the eastern part of the 
Valley were Pennsylvania Germans ; a class of people distin- 
guished for their untiring industry, and love of rich lands. 

Many of these emigrants had no sooner heard of the fer- 
tility of the soil in the Shenandoah valley, than they began 
to spread themselves along that stream and its tributaries. 
" So completely did they occupy the country along the north 
and south branches of that river, that the few stray English, 
Irish or Scotch settlers among them did not sensibly affect 
the homogeneousness of the population. They long retained, 
and for the most part do still retain, their German language, 
and the German simplicity of their manners."^ 

1 Kerclieval, 65. 

2 Introduction to History of Washington College ; MS. volume of Dr. 
Ruffner, its late President. 


Tradition informs us that the Indians did not object to the 
Pennsylvanians settling the country. From the exalted cha- 
racter for benevolence and virtue enjoyed by the first founder 
of that State, (William Penn,) the simple-minded children of 
the woods believed that all those who had lived under the 
shadow of his name, partook alike of his justice and hu- 
manity. But fatal experience soon taught them a very dif- 
ferent lesson. Towards Virginians, the Indians had a most 
implacable hatred. They called them, by way of distinction, 
"Long Knives," and "warmly opposed their settling in the 

For twenty years after the settlement about Winchester, 
the natives, inhabiting the mountains and intervening vales, 
remained in comparative quietude. 

Shortly after the first settlement at Winchester, a circum- 
stance occurred which speedily led to settlements along the up- 
per part of the Valley, and opened to the public mind the fine 
regions lying west of the Alleghanies. Two resolute spirits, 
Thomas Morlen and John Sailing, full of adventure, deter- 
mined to explore the "Upper Country," about which so much 
had been said, but so little was known. Setting out from 
Winchester, they made their way up the valley of the She- 
nandoah, crossed the waters of James river, not far from the 
Natural Bridge, and had progressed as far as the Roanoke, 
when a party of Cherokees surprised them, and took Sailing 
prisoner. Morlen made his escape, and returned in safety to 
his friends. Sailing was carried captive into Tennessee, and 
finally habituating himself to the Indians, remained with them 
several years. While on a hunting excursion with some of 
his tribe, some years afterwards, they were attacked by a 
party of Illinois Indians, with whom the Cherokees were 
at bitter variance, and Sailing a second time borne ofi" a 

These transactions took place in Kentucky, whither the 

1 Kercheval, 70. 


Southern, Western, and Northern tribes resorted to hunt. 
By his new captors, Sailing was carried to Kaskaskia; after- 
wards sold to a party of Spaniards on the lower Mississippi; 
subsequently returned to Kaskaskia; and finally, after six 
years' captivity, was ransomed by the Governor of Canada, 
and transferred to the Dutch authorities at Manhattan. 
Thence he succeeded in making his way to Williamsburg, in 

His captivity became the subject of general conversation. 
The accounts which he gave of the extent and resources of 
the great West, embracing almost every variety of soil, cli- 
mate, and production, and extending into remote parts, where 
human foot had probably never penetrated ; where majestic 
rivers, issuing from unknown sources in the far North, rolled 
their volumed waters in solemn grandeur to the South; where 
vegetation was most luxuriant, and game of every description 
inexhaustible, — were enough, as they proved, to excite a deep 
interest in all who heard his glowing accounts. 

Shortly before the return of Sailing, a considerable addi- 
tion had been made to the population of Virginia by recent 
arrivals at Jamestown. Of this number were John Lewis 
and John Mackey, both of whom, desirous of securing suit- 
able locations, were much interested in the statements of 
Sailing. Pleased with his description of the Valley, they 
determined to visit it, first having induced Sailing to accom- 
pany them as guide. The three penetrated the fastness 
of the mountain, descended into the luxuriant valley, and 
pleased with the physical appearance of the country, de- 
termined to fix there their abode. Lewis selected the place 
of his future residence on a stream still bearing his name ; 
Mackey chose a spot on the Shenandoah; and Sailing, hav- 
ing concluded to remain, made choice of a beautiful tract of 
land on the waters of James river, and built his cabin. 

Early in the Spring of 1736, an agent for Lord Fairfax, 
who held, under a patent from James II., all that part of 
Virginia known as the Northern Neck, came over, and after 

1736.] burden's grant. 39 

remaining a short time at Williamsburg, accepted an invita- 
tion to visit John Lewis. During his sojourn at the house of 
Lewis, he captured, while hunting with Samuel and Andrew, 
(the latter afterwards the distinguished General,) sons of .the 
former, a fine buiFalo calf. Returning shortly after to Wil- 
liamsburg, he presented the mountain pet to Governor Gooch, 
which so much gratified that functionary, that he forthwith 
directed a warrant to be made out, authorizing Burden (the 
agent) to locate 500,000 acres of land on the Shenandoah, or 
James rivers, tvest of the Blue Ridge. The grant required 
that Burden should settle one hundred families upon said 
land within ten years. The grantee lost no time in returning 
to England, and in the following year came out with the 
required number, embracing among his little colony many 
w^ho became the founders of some of the most distinguished 
families in our state. Of these were the McDowells, Craw- 
fords, McClures, Alexanders, Wallaces, Fattens, Prestons, 
Moores, Matthews, &c.^ 

The spirit of adventure now slumbered for a season, and 
but few additional improvements were made beyond the 
limits of the Burden grant, until 1751, at which time an 
influx of population took place ; and then it was, the pro- 
phetic line of Bishop Berkeley began to be realized, — 

" Westward, the star of empire takes its way." 

Many of the new settlers in the Valley had come in with 
Governor Dinwiddle, and were men of undoubted worth, and 

1 Among those who came out at this time, says Withers, was an Irish girl, 
named Polly Mulhollin. On her arrival, she was hired to James Bell, to pay 
her passage. At the expiration of her term of service, she clothed herself 
in man's apparel, and commenced making impDvements in Burden's tract. 
When Burden the younger, made out the deeds, he was astonished to find no 
less than thirty improvements in the name of Mulhollin, (one hundred acres 
of land to each,) and on investigating the matter her sex was discovered, to 
the great amusement of other claimants. She resumed her Christian name 
and proper attire, and many of her respectable descendants still reside with- 
in the limits of " Burden's grant." 



great probity of character. They embraced the Stuarts,^ 
Paulls, McDowells, etc., names distinguished in the an- 
nals of Virginia. Most of those who thus forsook the plea- 
sures, refinements and enjoyments of comfortable homes 
in the old world, to find a dwelling-place in the untrodden 
wilds of the new, were Scotch Covenanters ; those stern, 
inflexible sectarians, who preferred religious freedom abroad, 
to ease and oppression at home. How difi"erent was this 
class of people from the Spanish adventurers who subdued 
Mexico and South America ; those bloody conquerors, whose 
remorseless cruelty to the simple-minded natives, cast so 
much obloquy upon Spain, and darken her history with some 
of the foulest stains that ever disgraced a civilized nation! 
Who can wonder, that the smiles of Heaven attended the 
one, while the avenging hand of an outraged God smote the 
other ! 

1 Ancestors of Hon. Alexander H. 
Department of Interior. 

H. Stuart, present Secretary of the 




Previous to 1749, Western Yirginia was untrodden by 
the foot of white man, if we except an occasional trader, 
who may have ventured upon the heads of some of the tribu- 
tary streams which take their rise in the Alleghany Moun- 

Some time during this year, a man laboring under aberra- 
tion of intellect, wandered from Frederick county into the 
wilderness of the Greenbriar country. Although a supposed 
lunatic, there seemed yet enough of " method in his mad- 
ness," to tell his friends, on returning home, that he had dis- 
covered rivers flowing in a contrary direction to those of the 
Valley. His description of the country soon induced some to 
visit it, among whom were Jacob Martin and Stephen Sewell. 
These men settled on the Grreenbriar river, where they built 
a cabin ; but soon disagreeing about some trivial matter, 
Sewell left his companion, and took up his abode in a hollow 
tree. In the Spring of 1751, when Andrew Lewis visited 
the country as agent for the Greenbriar Company, he dis- 
covered the lonely pioneers in the deep seclusion of their 
mountain home. Upon inquiry as to the cause of their 
estrangement, the gallant jLewis soon reconciled matters, but 
only for a brief time, as Sewell shortly afterwards removed 
farther into the wilderness, where he fell a victim to Indian 

Further attempts to colonize the Greenbriar country were 
not made for many years. John Lewis, and his son Andrew, 
proceeded with their explorations, until interrupted by the 


breaking out of the French war. In 1762, a few families be- 
gan to penetrate the region on Muddj creek, and the Big 
Levels ; but a royal proclamation of the next year, com- 
manded that all who had settled, or held improvements on 
the Western waters, should at once remove, as the claim of 
the Indians had not been extinguished ; and it was most im- 
portant to preserve their friendship, in order to prevent them 
coalescing with the French.^ Those families already in the 
enjoyment of their improvements, refused to comply with the 
King's mandate, and most of them were cut off by the savages 
in 1763-4.2 From the date of these occurrences, up to 1769, 
the Greenbriar country contained not a single white settle- 
ment. In that year, Captain John Stuart, with a number of 
others, made improvements, which they continued to hold 
despite every effort of the Indians to dispossess them.^ Seven 
years later, (1776) settlements were made on New river. The 
lands taken up in this region, being held by what were known 
as '■'■corn rights' — whoever planted an acre of corn, acquired 
a title to one hundred acres of land.^ 

1 This proclamation contained among its provisions, the following, in re- 
ference to the settlements in Western Virginia. 

"And we do further strictly enjoin and require all persons whatsoever, 
who have either willfully or inadvertently seated themselves upon any lands 
within the countries above described, or upon any other lands, which, not 
having been ceded to or purchased by us, are still reserved to the said 
Indians as aforesaid, forthwith to remove themselves from such settlements." 
&c. (See Land Laws, p. 86.) 

2 Washington, in his Journal, speaks of having met at the house of Mr. 
Frazier, mouth of Turtle creek, January 1st, 1754, twenty warriors, who had 
started for the South to war; "but coming to a place on the head of the 
Great Kanawha, where they found seven people killed and scalped, they 
turned about and ran back, for fear the inhabitants should rise and take 
them as the authors of the murder." 

' Withers, 48. 4 ibj^. 

1750.] THE OHIO COMPANY. 43 



Time had scarcely been allowed to dry the ink on the 
signatures to the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, ere the British 
government proceeded to carry out one of its well matured 
plans for forestalling the movements of the French, and 
taking immediate possession of the country lying west of the ' 
Mountains, and east of the Ohio. This scheme was the for- 
mation by an act of Parliament, of a great landed corporation, 
which was designed to check the encroachments of France, 
despoil the Indians of their inheritance, and secure per- 
manent possession of the valley of the Ohio. 

We will quote from Sparks, the nature, &c., of this corpora- 
tion. In 1749, Thomas Lee, one of His Majesty's Council in 
Virginia, formed the design of effecting settlements on the 
wild lands west of the Alleghany Mountains, * * * With 
the view of carrying his plan into operation, Mr. Lee associ- 
ated himself with twelve other persons in Virginia and Mary- 
land, and with Mr. Hanbury, a merchant in London, who 
formed what they called " The Ohio Company." Five 
hundred thousand acres of land were granted almost in the 
terms requested by the company, to be "taken on the south 
side of the Ohio river, between the Monongahela and Kanawha 
rivers. Two hundred thousand acres were to be located at 
once, and held for ten years free of quit-rent, provided one 
hundred families were settled on it within seven years, and a 
fort erected of suitable strength to protect the inhabitants." 
This may be considered the first decisive step on the part of 
the English, to take possession of the country bordering the 


Ohio river. Other companies were organized about the same 
time by the colonial authorities of Virginia, under direct 
instruction from the mother country. Of these, were the 
Greenbriar Company, with a grant of 100,000 acres ; and 
the Loyal Company, incorporated on the 12th June, 1749, 
with a grant for 800,000 acres, from the "line 
[June 12th.] of Canada, North and West." The British Min- 
istry had evidently become alarmed at what they were pleased 
to term the encroachments of the French ; and it was to fore- 
stall their movements by throwing into the disputed territory 
an "armed neutrality," in the shape of several hundred 
American families, that made the English Government and 
its Virginia agents, so solicitous to colonize the regions of 
the West. We will revert to this subject in another chapter, 
and now resume the thread of our narrative. 

Early in 1750, the Ohio Company sent out Christopher 
riTf^n n ^^^* ^'^ ^^ exploring expedition. He is represent- 
'■ ■-' ed to have crossed from the south branch of the 
Potomac, to the headwaters of the Juniata; thence to the 
Alleghany, crossing that river a few miles above where 
Pittsburgh now stands. Descending the Ohio to the mouth 
of Beaver, he went up that stream, thence across to the 
Muskingum, and down to the Miami. After an absence of 
several months, he returned to the Kanawha, and made a 
thorough examination of the country lying east of that river 
and south of the Ohio.^ 

In 1751, as already stated, Andrew Lewis, afterwards so 
distinguished in the military annals of our State, commenced 
a survey of the Greenbriar tract. The movements of both 
these agents, however, had been closely watched, and informa- 
tion conveyed to the French, who by this time had fairly got 

1 It was dming this exploration that an Indian Chief met Gist, and on 
ascertaining the object of his visit to the country, inquired, with the most 
withering irony, <' Wliere Isij the Indians' lands; the French claim all on 
one side of the river, and the English all on the other?" — Sparks' Washing- 
ion, i. 23, 


their eyes open as to tlie policy and designs of the English. 
Determined to maintain their rights, and to assert their claim 
to the country bordering the Ohio, the French crossed Lake 
Champlain, built Crown Point, and without delay proceeded 
to fortify certain other positions on the waters of the upper 
Ohio. With this view, they erected a fort at Presque He, on 
Lake Erie ; another about fifteen miles distant, which they 
called Le Boeuf ; and a third, at the mouth of Erench Creek, 
now Venango. But lest, while these little fortresses were 
quietly rising in the wilderness, the English might attempt 
corresponding means for defence, a company of soldiers was 
despatched by the French Commandant, with positive orders 
to keep intruders out of the valley of the Ohio ; but to use no 
violence, " except in case of obstinate continuance, and then 
to seize their goods. "-^ 

This party doubtless heard of the movements of Gist, and 
the presence of English traders on the Miami. Thither they 
directed their steps and demanded that the intruders should 
leave, or be given up as trespassers upon French soil. 

The traders refusing to depart, and the Indians being 
unwilling to give them up, a fight ensued, in which fourteen 
of the Twigtees or Miamas were killed, and the traders, 
four in number, taken prisoners.^ 

This occurred early in 1752, as the Lidians referred to the 
fact at the treaty of Logstown, in June. It may justly be 

' We quote from a rare old book entitled, "A Memorial, containing a Sum- 
mary View of Facts with their Authorities, in answer to the Observations 
sent by the English Ministry to the Courts of Europe." 1757. 

This work clearly shows that it was the aggressive policy of England that 
brought on a war, the effects of which were felt from the shores of the Ohio 
to the banks of the Ganges. 

^ In aU the works heretofore consulted, the number of traders taken pri- 
soners has been stated at two ; but the author of "A Memorial," &c., says 
they were four and gives their names, viz. : Liike Arrowin, (Irvin ?) Joseph 
Fortiner, Thomas Burk, and John Patton, all citizens of Pennsylvania, each 
with a license from the governor of that state, to sell and barter wherever 
they chose. v 


regarded as the prologue to that long and bloody drama, the 
catastrophe of which, was the expulsion of the French from 
the Ohio vallej, and the consequent loss to France of all her 
territory east of the Mississippi. (See note A., end of Part II.) 

Thus stood matters in the spring of 1752. The English 
thwarted in their attempt to locate lands on the Ohio, deemed 
it exjaedient to invite the chiefs of the neighboring tribes to a 
convention at Logstown, when they hoped to have the claims 
of Great Britain recognized, as they were clearly determined 
to possess themselves of the lands in question, by fair means 
or foul. Accordingly, in June 1752, Joshua Fry,^ Lunsford 
Loamax, and James Patton, commissioners on the part of 
Virginia, met the Sachems and chiefs of the Six Nations, and 
desired to know to what they objected in the treaty of Lan- 
caster (see note B., end of Part II.), and of what else they com- 
plained. They produced the Lancaster treaty, insisted upon 
its ratification, and the sale of the Western lands ; but the 
chiefs said " No ; they had heard of no sale of lands west of the 
warriors' road^ which ran at the foot of the Alleghany ridge." 
The Commissioners finding the Indians inflexible, and well 
aware of the rapid advance of the French, decided to offer 
great inducements in goods, &c., for the ratification of the 
treaty, and the relinquishment of the Indian title to lands 
lying south of the Ohio and east of the Kanawha. 

The offers and importunities of the Virginians at length 

P^'^^'^^^^^5 ^'^^ on the 13th June, the Indians 

L '-I consented to confirm the Lancaster deed in as 

" full and ample a manner as if the same was here recited,"^ 

and guaranteeing that the settlements south-east of the Ohio 

' Afterwards Commander in Chief over Washington at the commencement 
of the French war of 1755 — 63. He died at 'Wills creek (Cumberland) May 
31, 1754. (Sparks' Washington, ii. 27.) 

2 "Washington (Sparks, ii. 526) refers to a warriors' path coming out upon 
the Ohio, about thirty miles above the Great Kanawha. In the miautes of 
the treaty of Easton, in 1758, reference is made to a warriors' road striking 
down through the Greenbriar country to the Ohio. 

3 Colony Titles, 29 to 68. 

1T52-3.] SHiNGiss. 47 

should not be disturbed by tliem.^ The Virginia Commis- 
sioners, both at Logstown and Lancaster, were men of the 
highest character, " but treated with the Indians according to 
the ideas of their day." 

The French in the meantime had not been idle observers ; 
and no sooner did they ascertain the result of the conference 
at Logstown, than it was resolved to check the English the mo- 
ment they should set foot upon the banks of the Ohio. Vigor- 
ous measures were taken to complete their line of fortifications 
on the head-waters of the Ohio, and to supply each post with 
an abundance of ammunition. In the spring of 1753, the Ohio 
Company directed Gist to lay out a town and erect 
a fort at the mouth of Chartier's Creek, two and a ^ 'J 
half miles below the forks of the Monongahela and Alle- 
ghany. This order, however, was not carried into effect, as 
Washington, in his journal, uses the following language : — 
" About two miles from this place, (the forks,) on the south- 
east side of the river, at the place where the Ohio Company 
intended to lay off their fort, lives Shingiss, king of the 

Well do we remember, how often, in the joyous days of 
ripening youth, we have roamed over the beautiful grounds 
celebrated as the once residence of the noble and generous 
Shingiss. The spot is a short distance from the river, and a 
little south by west from McKee's rocks ; — a rugged T)ro- 
montory just below the mouth of Chartier's Creek. Associ- 
ated with this locality are many wild and startling Indian 

' Plain Tracts, 38-44. 

2 At the base of this rock, around which the water sweeps with great 
force, is a hole of unfathomecl depth. An opinion has long existed, that 
into this "hole," the retreating French from Fort Du Quesne, in 1756, threw 
their cannon, ammunition, &c. &c. During the past summer, a search was 
made by some gentlemen of Pittsburg, but with what success the author has 
not learned. A few months since a gun carriage was fished up from the 
Ohio, not far from the place referred to. It was of vindoubted French 




The claim of France to all the country watered by the 
Ohio and its tributaries, was based upon that recognized law 
of nations that the discovery of the mouth of a river entitled 
the nation so discovering to the whole country drained by 
that river and its tributaries. This claim set up by France 
and resisted by the colonies, is precisely the same upon which 
we have recently based our title to the "whole of Oregon." 

On the part of Great Britain, it was claimed, that inde- 
pendent of her title by purchase,^ she held, under the dis- 
covery of Cabot, the entire region lying between the 38th 
and 67th degree of north latitude, and stretching from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific — a zone athwart the continent. She 
also set up another claim, — priority of discovery, — to the 
Ohio Valley : a claim utterly absurd and entirely untenable. 

Such were the grounds upon which two of the greatest 
European nations claimed supremacy in the beautiful and 
luxuriant Valley of the Ohio. Without stopping to discuss 
the merits of either, we will proceed in the continuation of 
our history. 

France, convinced of the justness of her claim, and de- 
termined not to be overawed by the threatening attitude of 
her great rival, adopted at a very early day, the most effi- 
cient means for maintaining her position in the great valley 
of the West. In 1720, she erected Fort Chartres, in Illi- 
nois, one of the strongest posts in its day on the Continent of 

1 Treaty of Lancaster. 

2 This was based upon a vague tradition, that John Howard, an English- 
man, crossed the mountains from Virginia in 1742, and descended the Ohio 


North America. It "was constructed by a military engineer 
of the Vauban school, and was designed to be one of a cordon 
of posts reaching from the St. Lawrence to the Gulf of 
Mexico. That at Vincennes was established in 1735,^ at 
which time the valley of the Wabash, or Ouabache, was 
strongly defended. 

Viewing the restless energy of that people, can it be 
doubted that they penetrated far up the valley of the Ohio, 
and made themselves familiar with the country bordering 
"Xa Belle Riviere," long previous to any account now upon 
record ? We have now in our possession, a singular and inte- 
resting relic, taken from an ancient mound, near the mouth 
of Fishing creek, Wetzel county, Va., which may aid some 
little in establishing the era of French visitation to the Ohio. 
The relic is a crucifix, and its appearance plainly indicates 
great antiquity. The cross is of iron and much corroded, 
but the image of the Saviour, being of more enduring metal 
than the cross, is as perfect as when it came from the hand 
of the artist. (See Wetzel Co. for further notice.) The 
mound in which this remarkable relic was found, was one of the 
most ancient in appearance along the river. The depth at 
which it had been placed, with many other attending circum- 
stances, leaves but little doubt that it must have lain in that 
aboriginal tomb for at least two centuries. The presumption 
is, by all who have examined it, that the relic belonged to 
some Jesuit missionary who visited the Ohio Valley at a very 
early period. 

Immediately following the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, (1748,) 
" the Court of London formed the plan of several new settle- 
ments, in which they consulted rather the interest of their 
own commerce, than the articles of those treaties which 
were renewed by that of Aix-la-Chapelle."^ Among the 
projected movements was the formation of the Ohio Com- 

1 Mr. Schoolcraft says in 1710, while Bancroft, (Hist. TJ. S. iii. 346,) 
states that a military establishment was there in 1716. 

2 " A Memorial," &c. 



pany, the settlement of the upper Ohio valley, &c. These 
steps naturally alarmed the French, who, believing that the 
spirit of the compact had been violated, determined to resist, 
at all hazards, the encroachments upon their soil.^ 

As a preliminary step in taking formal possession of the 
Ohio and its tributaries, the Marquis de la Galissoniere,^ 
Governor-general of Canada, determined to place along the 
" Oyo" or La Belle Riviere,^ at the confluence of important 
tributaries, leaden plates, suitably inscribed, asserting the 
claim of France to the lands on both sides of the river, even 
to the heads of the tributaries. One of these plates has re- 
cently been discovered at the mouth of Kanawha (Point Plea- 
sant). It was found by a son of John Beale, Esqr., in April, 
1846. (Mr. Beale now lives in Covington, Ky.) We have 
procured an exact drawing of the relic, and made a literal 
translation of the inscription ; both of which are here given.^ 

■ 1 The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle having left unadjusted the question of 
territorial limits, the French felt justified in resisting what they considered 
a trespass upon their rights. 

2 We have noticed in several publications an effort to question the chro- 
nology of this plate, in consequence of a statement in Murray's vrork on 
British America, that M. de la Galissoniere had been superseded as Governor 
of Canada in 1746, by Jonquierre ; thus leaving a discrepancy of three 
years to be accounted for. In order to satisfy those who have been disposed 
to cavil, we have examined some reliable authorities, and find that Jon- 
quierre did not succeed the Marquis Galissoniere until August, 1749. Bou- 
chette in his account of the British Dominions in America, says the former 
succeeded the latter on the 16th August, 1749 ; and Prof. Du Kalm, who was 
present at the inauguration of Jonquierre, confirms this statement. 

3 La Belle Riviere — the beautiful river, — was the euphonious distinction 
given to this truly beautiful stream, by the simple-hearted French voyageur 
as his light pirogue glided over its fair and placid bosom. 

■* Translation of Plate. 
In the year 1749, reign of Louis XV., Ivingof France, We, Celeron, command- 
ant of a detachment sent by Monsieur the Marquis de la Galissoniere, Com- 
mandant General of New France, to re-establish tranquillity in some Indian 
Tillages of these cantons, have buried this plate at the mouth of the river 
Chinodashichetha, the 18th August, near the river Ohio, otherwise Beautiful 
River, as a monument of renewal of possessions, which we have taken of 
the said river Ohio, and of all those which fall into it, and of all the lands on 





pany, the settlement of the upper Ohio valley, &c. These 
steps naturally alarmed the French, who, believiug that the 
sph'it of the compact had been violated, determined to resist, 
at all hazards, the encroachments upon their soil.^ 

As a preliminary step in taking formal possession of the 
Ohio and its tributaries, the Marquis de la Galissoniere,^ 
Grovernor-general of Canada, determined to place along the 
" Oyo" or La Belle Riviere,^ at the confluence of important 
tributaries, leaden plates, suitably inscribed, asserting the 
claim of France to the lands on both sides of the river, even 
to the heads of the tributaries. One of these plates has re- 
cently been discovered at the mouth of Kanawha (Point Plea- 
sant). It was found by a son of John Beale, Esqr., in April, 
1846. (Mr. Beale now lives in Covington, Ky.) We have 
procured an exact drawing of the relic, and made a literal 
translation of the inscription ; both of which are here given.'* 

■ 1 The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle having left unadjusted the question of 
territorial limits, the French felt justified in resisting what they considered 
a trespass upon their rights. 

2 We have noticed in several publications an effort to question the chro- 
nology of this plate, in consequence of a statement in Murray's work on 
British Ameiica, that M. de la Galissoniere had been superseded as Governor 
of Canada in 1746, by Jonquierre ; thus leaving a discrepancy of three 
years to be accounted for. In order to satisfy those who have been disposed 
to cavil, we have examined some reliable authorities, and find that Jon- 
quierre did not succeed the Marquis Galissoniere until August, 1749. Bou- 
chette in his account of the British Dominions in America, says the former 
succeeded the latter on the 16th August, 1749 ; and Prof. Du Kalm, who was 
present at the inauguration of Jonquierre, confirms this statement. 

3 La Belle Riviere — the beautiful river, — was the euphonious distinction 
given to this truly beautiful stream, by the simple-hearted French voyageur 
as his light pirogue glided over its fair and placid bosom. 

* Translatiox of Plate. 
In the year 1749, reign of Louis XV., King of France, We, Celeron, command- 
ant of a detachment sent by Monsieur the Marquis de la Galissoniere, Com- 
mandant General of New France, to re-establish tranquillity in some Indian 
villages of these cantons, have buried this plate at the mouth of the river 
Chinodashichetha, the 18th August, near the river Ohio, otherwise Beautiful 
River, as a monument of renewal of possessions, which we have taken of 
the said river Ohio, and of all those which fall into it, and of all the lands on 

LAN ■ I> ^0^' DY REGNE DE LOvis XV r6%, 6|-qjf|r;/: 
CALISSONI ERE COM M AND ANT :G EN E R AL; D E|g£A.%. ''^^1 m ,. 

AVONS,,' ENTERRE , CETTE V ;^^^ PLA^YE,.. A LILN1:Y]E&.. mSM 'mm 

RfVIERE. CHIN0DAHrCHETiiA:/DE:.I8 ACU5T., . ,,;' ■^^tKrJ-^ffiM) 

E T DE TOY ES : LE S TE PRE S : D^E S . D E Y X C fTE^. jVS ^ V^E^^^^^^ 



pan J 
at a 
to t 


1749.] LEADEN PLATES. 51 

Two other plates, similar to the one found at Point Plea- 
sant, have been recovered. The first at Venango, and the 
other at Marietta, a copy of which is given by Dr. Hildreth 
in his Pioneer History. Others were doubtless deposited at 
different points between French Creek and the mouth of the 

M. Celeron, commandant of the expedition depositing 
these plates, having ascertained from some of the traders, 
that they acted under commissions from the Governor of 
Pennsylvania,^ wrote to that officer, enjoining upon him the 
necessity of preventing his people from trading beyond the 
Apalachian mountains,^ as he had been authorized to seize 
the traders and confiscate their goods. Celeron having dis- 
charged the duty imposed upon him, to the satisfaction of his 
government, was shortly afterward appointed Commandant 
at Detroit. 

" M. Celeron was no sooner gone from La Belle Riviere, 
than the English traders returned in crowds. They had 
orders from the G-overnment, to excite the Indians to take 
Tip arms against France ; nay, they even brought them arms 
and ammunition."^ 

both sides, as far as to the sources of said rivers ; the same as were enjoyed 
or ought to have been enjoyed, by the preceding Kings of France, and that 
they have maintained it by their arms and by treaties, especially by those of 
Kyswick, Utrecht, and Aix-la-Chapelle. 

' An examination of the English traders taken on the Miami, clearly es- 
tablished this fact. The license which they produced authorized them to 
trade on French territory ; and as security, he (the Governor of Pennsyl- 
vania) sent out a spy, whose duty it was to concilitate the Indians, and 
excite them against the French. 

2 This was the name in general use at that time for the Alleghanies. 

^ " A Memorial," &c. 




Thus stood matters at the close of the year 1752. The 
two great powers beyond the Atlantic, glad of a respite after 
eight years successful and unsuccessful war, were resting 
under the truce secured by the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ; 
while their commissioners were trying to out-wit one another 
on the matter of the disputed lands in the West.^ 

But the calm was that which precedes the storm. Although 
all seemed "peace" at home, a very different state of affairs 
existed in the backwoods of America. Sere, the clano-or of 
arms, the stern word of command, the daily reveille — sounds 
so strange in the deep seclusion of an American forest — all 
told of the approaching conflict. 

The unprejudiced reader cannot but deplore the short- 
sighted policy which induced England to bring on the unfor- 
tunate and protracted struggle of which we are about to 
speak.^ Had it not been for her rapacity — her insatiate 
craving — her horse-leech cry, — " Give ! give !" none can doubt 
but that all the horrors and bloody wrongs attending her six 
years' war with France, would have been averted. The Eng- 
lish principle of action, both at home and abroad, seems ever 
to have been, 

^ Smollett, George II. Ch. viii. and ix. 

2 At the time all was apparently, "profound peace" in the mother coun- 
tries, "the English colonies were in motion to execute the plan of a 
general invasion, formed and sent from London, at a time when the English 
Commissioners at Paris seemed to have nothing more at heart, than to con- 
cur with those of the King in settling a plan of agreement." — " A Memorial,'' 


" That they should take, who have the power, 
And they should keep, who can."i 

The spring of 1753 opened with every prospect of matters 
coming to a crisis. The English traders had been driven off, 
and the warlike movements of the French indicated a deter- 
mined resolution on their part. Information of these move- 
ments having been conveyed to the colonial authorities of 
Pennsylvania and Virginia, the former voted six hundred 
pounds for distribution among the Indians of the West, and 
two hundred additional to the Twigtees, who had lost some 
of their number in endeavoring to protect the Pennsylvania 
traders taken captive by the French. Conrad Wieser, an 
experienced provincial interpreter, was sent out to ascertain 
the number, condition, situation, and feeling of the tribes 
on the Ohio and tributaries, "so that he might regulate the 
distribution of the goods that were to be divided among 
them."^ In June a messenger was despatched to 
the French, cautioning them against invading his ^ 'J 

" Majesty's dominions." This commissioner only went to 
Logstown, — being afraid to go up the Alleghany as instructed. ^ 

In October instructions reached the colonies, from the Earl 

of Holdernesse, Secretary of State,^ to resist all 

rOcT 1 
encroachments on the part of the French ; and as •- *J 

better security, to erect two forts at suitable points in the 

disputed territory. Accompanying these instructions to Yir- 

1 Wordsworth's " Rob Roy's Grave." 

2 Instruction from A. Palmer, President of Council. 

3 Sparks' Wash. ii. 230. 

^ These orders looked alone to war, and evince a settled determination on 
the part of England to produce a rupture. From the instructions of the 
British King, found among the papers of Braddock, it has been ascertained 
that he exhorted the Governors of the respective colonies, "to unite their 
endeavors for carrying into execution a studied and pre-concerted plan of 
military operations." These instructions bear date, August 28, 1753, — prior 
to the mission of Washington ; and, of course, many months before the diffi- 
culty at the Forks, which English authors have asserted was the exciting 
cause of the war. 


ginia, came thirty pieces of cannon and eighty barrels of 
powder.-^ This looked like bringing matters to an issue, and 
so thought all who heard of it. 

Disposed to adjust the difficulty by mild means, Governor 
Dinwiddle determined to send a messenger to the French 
commandant on the head waters of the Ohio, threatening him 
that unless the French forces were immediately withdrawn, 
war would be the consequence.^ 

In looking around for one whose zeal, energy, valor and 
sagacity, might be equal to the herculean task of making 
his way hundreds of miles through an unbroken wilderness, 
and countless hordes of savages, his eye fell upon a young 
Virginia surveyor ; scarcely twenty-one years of age, but 
whose courage and manly bearing as an officer in the pro- 
vincial ranks,^ had won for him the esteem and admiration, 
not only of his companions in arms, but of the Governor him- 
self. That young man was Geoege Washington, afterwards 
the glory and the pride of his country. He was selected 
above all others, and the choice proved the wisdom and judg- 
ment of Governor Dinwiddle. 

Heceiving his instructions, and a passport, he left Williams- 
burg on the 31st day of October, 1753. In two 
L ' *-' weeks, he had reached Wills creek, where Cum- 
berland now stands. With Gist as his guide, and accompanied 
by six other men, he commenced, on the 15th of November 
(1753) the arduous ascent of the rugged and 
L * *-' winter-bound Alleghanies. Who can realize the 
untold perils of that mountain march ! All around was terri- 
bly wild, — the howling of the storm, — the roar of the winter's 
blast, — the fierce sweep of the snow, — and the hoarse voice 
of distracted waters, with the awful solitude and strength 

' Sparks' Wash. i. 21; Burke, iii. 171 ; Chalmers' Am. Revolt, ii. 2G5. 
2 Marshall's Wash. ii. 3 ; Grahame, iii. 370; Smollett's Contin. viii. 490. 
^ Washington at the time, held a commission as Major in the Colonial 


■which reigned around, were enough to make the very souls 
of men shrink back in unwonted aAve. But undismayed amid 
all this terrible war of the elements, the young Virginian 
struggled on, reaching the Monqngahela on the 23d, near the 
spot where two years afterwards, he took part in one of the 
most sanguinary conflicts of the six years' war. He reached 
the forks (Pittsburgh) on the 23d, and his keen eye at once 
saw the great advantage presented by the place for a fortified 

Inviting Shingiss, king of the Delawares, to meet in coun- 
cil at Logstown, they proceeded thither, " where we arrived 
between sun-setting and dark, on the twenty-fifth day after 
leaving Williamsburg."^ 

At this place, "Washington met Tanacharison, Half King 
of the Six Nations f but finding little could be done with the 
natives on account of their fear of the French, he set out, 
accompanied by the Half King and three other Indians, for 
the French post at the head of French creek. 

Through incessant rains and interminable swamps, they 
travelled on to Venango, (seventy miles) where, meeting Cap- 
tain Joncaire, who had command of the station, Washington 
was informed that they (the French) had taken possession of 
the Ohio, (meaning the entire region from the Lakes to the 
river Ohio) and, by tJiei/ ^'- ivould hold it." Joncaire ad- 
vised Washington to proceed to the quarters of St. Pierre 
(Le Boeuf) who was a higher ofiicer in command. Four 
days more of severe fatigue, brought the little party to St. 
Pierre. Delivering Gov. Dinwiddle's message, the command- 
ant replied that he could do nothing more than send it on to 
the Marquis Du Quesne, Governor-general of Canada. As 

' Marshall's Washington, ii. 4 ; Sparks' Do. 26. Washington's Journal. 

2 Washington's Journal. 

2 The Half-king was a devoted friend of the English. He gave Washington 
much valuable information ; and had he lived, would doubtless have been of 
great service to the unfortunate Braddock, in his march to the Monongahela. 
He died on the Susquehanna, where Harrisburg now stands, October, 1754. 


to withdrawing from his present position, he could not. This 
was all done in the most polite and respectful manner.-^ During 
his stay, Washington was handsomely cared for; every atten- 
tion and kindness being shown him. 

Returning, they reached Venango, after a " tedious and 
fatiguing passage down the creek. Several times, we had 
like to have been staved against rocks, and many times, were 
obliged to get out and remain in the water half an hour or 
more, getting over the shoals. At one place, the ice had 
lodged and made it impassable by water : we had therefore, 
to carry our canoes across a neck of land, a quarter of a 

From Venango, Washington and Gist set out on foot, 
" with gun in hand, and pack on back" for the Ohio. Of the 
hardships which they underwent during this perilous march, 
we will quote a few passages from the journal of the illus- 
trious chief. Reaching a place in the Alleghany river, where 
they desired to cross, but the ice driving in such vast quanti- 
ties, it was found impossible to effect a passage except on a 
raft, " which we set to work with our poor hatchets, and 
finished just after sun-setting. This, was a whole day's work ; 
we next got it launched, then went on board of it, and set 
off; but before we were half-way over, we were jammed in 
ice in such a manner, that we expected every moment our raft 
to sink, and ourselves to perish. I put out my setting pole, 
to try to stop the raft that the ice might pass by, when the 
rapidity of the stream threw it with so much violence against 
the pole, that it jerked me out into ten feet water ; but I for- 
tunately saved myself, by catching one of the raft logs. — 
Notwithstanding all our efforts, we could not get to either 
shore, but were obliged, as we were near an island, to quit 
our raft and make to it. 

" The cold was so extremely severe, that Mr. Gist had allhis 

' Smollett, -viii., 490; Sparks' Washington,!., 29; Grahame, iii., 370. 
2 Washington's Journal. 

1754.] Washington's humanity. 57 

jingei's and some of Ms toes frozen, and the water was shut 
up so hard, that we found no difficulty in getting off the is- 
land, on the ice, in the morning."^ Who can read this plain, 
simple and touching narrative, and not shudder at the immi- 
nent danger of a life so valuable ? At one time, a treacher- 
ous Indian,^ at the distance of fifteen paces, fired upon them ; 
but, escaping all, they reached the house of a friend at the 
mouth of Turtle creek, and thence Washington returned in 
safety to Williamsburg, reaching that place on the 16th of 
January, 1754. 

' Supposed to be Wainright's Island, a short distance above Pittsburg. 

2 Washington's Journal. 

^ It maj' not be amiss here to add a short extract from the journal of Gist, 
kept on the same occasion. We do this, in order to disprove the charge of 
inhumanity made against Washington, in the cases of Jumonville, Andre, &c. 

" We arose very early in the morning, and set out about two o'clock, and 
got to the Murderingtown, on the south-east fork of Beaver creek. Here 
we met an Indian, whom I thought I had seen at Venango. This fellow 
called me by my Indian name, and pretended to be glad to see me. I thought 
very ill of the fellow, * * the Major (Washington,) soon mistrusted him 
as much as I did. * * * It was very light, and snow was on the ground. 
The Indian made a stop, and turned about, the Major saw him point his gun 
towards us, and he fired. Said the Major, 'Are you shot?' 'No!' said I; 
upon which, the Indian ran towards a big white oak, and began loading his 
gun, but we were soon with him. / would have killed him, but the Major 
would not suffer me." 

Gist's Journal may be seen in the Massachusetts Historical Collection, v., 
1 to 8. 




The answer of St. Pierre, left no other course for tlie pro- 
vincial authorities to pursue, than prepare for war. Washing- 
ton's journal was published bj order of the Council, to arouse 
the people of the provinces. It was re-published in England, 
exciting not only respect for its author, but a determination 
to meet and resist the encroachments of France.^ 

Governor Dinwiddie sent messengers to the provinces of 
North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New York, advising them 
of the crisis, and calling upon them for assistance. Two com- 
panies were ordered to be immediately raised in Virginia, — 
one East, the other in the West, to proceed at once to the 
erection of a fort at the point where Pittsburg now stands. 
Washington was given the command of the force thus to 
be raised. One company was to be enlisted by himself, and 
the other by Captain Trent, an experienced frontierman. — 
Five thousand acres of land were to be divided amons; those 
who should enlist ; one thousand acres of which were to be 
laid off contiguous to the fort, for the use of the soldiers doing 
duty there, which were to be called the ' garrison lands.'^ 

' Sparks' Washington, ii., 432 ; Howisson i., 451. 

2 Ibid, ii., 1. (The lands thus granted became the subject of dispute be- 
tween the governors of Virginia and Pennsylvania. The latter denied the 
right of the former so to dispose of lands which Pennsylvania claimed, and 
believed she was entitled to. The matter, however, was finally adjusted to 
the satisfaction of both parties.) 


The company raised by Trent, was ordered on, and directed 
to put up, at the forks, with the least practicable delay, a fort 
of suitable strength to resist any ordinary attack, and with 
orders to destroy or capture any hostile or resisting force.^ 

On the 17th of February, 1754, Capt. Trent, with his 
company, reached the forks, and immediately 
commenced the erection of a fort. Early in April, ^ • 'J 
Capt. Trent, left his command to visit Wills creek, and soon 
after. Lieutenant Frazier absented himself on a visit to his 
family at the mouth of Turtle creek. Thus the command 
devolved upon Ensign Ward, an officer of courage, but not 
much experience, who with his little company of forty-one 
men, vigorously pushed forward the fort. On the morning 
of the 16th of April,^ when all seemed security, 
and none dreamed of danger. Ensign Ward, with L ' '-' 
what terror may well be imagined, beheld approaching the 
point, a French fleet of such magnitude as to startle the rustic 
backwoodsman out of all notions of war, and war-like defences. 
The French fleet numbered several hundred vessels.^ They 
descended the Alleghany, and sweeping round in front of the 
" garrison," Monsieur Contrecoeur, sent on shore the following 
imperious summons to surrender. 

' Sparks' Washington, ii., 1, 431. 

2 Most accounts give the date of this occurrence as the 17th of April, but 
it -will be perceived by reference to the summons, that it bears date, 16th. 

^ Ward represented to his commander, the number of French to be one 
thousand, with eighteen pieces of cannon, three hundred canoes, and sixty 
bateau. The number of men is believed to have been exaggerated, as 
Captain Stobo, who was sent as hostage, shortly afterwards, states in a letter 
that the number of French then in the fort, was less than two hundred. 




"By Order of Monsieur Contrecceur, Captain of one of the Companies of 
THE Detachment of the French Marine, Commander-in-Chief of his 
most Christian Majesty's Troops, now on the Beautfiul Eiver, to the 
Commander of those of the King of Great Britain, at the mouth of 
THE River Monongahela, 

" Sir, — Nothing can surprise me more than to see you at- 
tempt a settlement upon the lands of the king, my master, 
which obliges me now, sir, to send you this gentleman. Che- 
valier Le Mercier, captain of the artillery of Canada, to know 
of you, sir, by virtue of what authority you are come to 
fortify yourself within the dominions of the king, my master. 
This action seems so contrary to the last treaty of peace, at 
Aix La Chapelle, between his most Christian Majesty and 
the King of Great Britain, that I do not know to whom to 
impute such an usurpation, as it is incontestable that the lands 
situated along the Beautiful River belong to his most Chris- 
tian majesty. 

" I am informed, sir, that your undertaking has been con- 
certed by none else than by a Company, who have more in 
view the advantage of a trade than to endeavor to keep the 
union and harmony which subsists between the two crowns of 
France and Great Britain, although it is as much the interest, 
sir, of your nation as ours to preserve it. 

" Let it be as it will, sir, if you come out into this place, 
charged with orders, I summon you in the name of the king, 
my master, by virtue of orders which I got from my general, 
to retreat peaceably with your troops from off the lands of 
the king, and not to return, or else I will find myself obliged 
to fulfil my duty, and compel you to it. I hope, sir, you will 
not defer an instant, and that you will not force me to the 
last extremity. In that case, sir, you may be persuaded that 
I Avill give orders that there shall be no damage done by my 

" I prevent you, sir, from asking me one hour of delay, 
nor to wait for my consent to receive orders from your go- 
vernor. He can give none within the dominions of the king, 
my master. Those I have received of my general are my 
laws, so that I cannot depart from them. 

" On the contrary, sir, if you have not got orders, and only 

1754.] PORT DU QUESNE. 61 

come to trade, I am sorry to tell you, that I can't avoid seizing 
you, and to confiscate your effects to the use of the Indians, 
our children, allies and friends, as you are not allowed to carry 
on a contraband trade. It is for this reason, sir, that we 
stopped two Englishmen, last year, who were trading upon 
our lands : moreover, the king, my master, asks nothing but 
his right ; he has not the least intention to trouble the good 
harmony and friendship which reigns between his Majesty 
and the King of Great Britain. 

"The Governor of Canada can give proof of his having 
done his utmost endeavors to maintain the perfect union 
which reigns between two friendly princes. As he had learned 
that the Iroquois and the Nipissingues of the Lake of the 
Two Mountains had struck and destroyed an English family, 
towards Carolina, he has barred up the road, and forced them 
to give him a little boy belonging to that family, and which 
Mr. Ulerich, a merchant of Montreal, has carried to Boston ; 
and what is more, he has forbid the savages from exercising 
their accustomed cruelty upon the English, our friends. 

" I could complain bitterly, sir, of the means taken all last 
■winter to instigate the Indians to accept the hatchet and to 
strike us, while we were striving to maintain the peace. I 
am well persuaded, sir, of the polite manner in which you 
will receive M. Le Mercier, as well out of regard to his busi- 
ness as his distinction and personal merit. I expect you will 
send him back with one of your oiScers, who will bring me a 
precise answer. As you have got some Indians with you, sir, 
I join with M. Le Mercier, an interpreter, that he may inform 
them of my intentions upon that subject. 
" I am, with great regard, sir, 

"Your most humble and most obedient servant, 


" Done at our Camp, April 16, 1754." 

With this summons Ensign Ward could do no less than 
comply, and accordingly delivered up to the French entire 
possession of the post ; himself and men retiring up the 
Monongahela as far as Redstone. Contrecoeur took imme- 
diate possession, and finishing the fort, called it Du Quesne, 
after the Governor-general of Canada. 

In the meantime, it having been determined by the Coun- 
cil of Virginia to appropriate ten thousand pounds toward 


carrying on the war, the two companies ordered to be raised 
were increased to six, and Joshua Fry appointed colonel, with 
Washington for lieutenant-colonel. The latter having organ- 
ized two companies at Alexandria, marched to Wills creek, 
(Cumberland), where he received intelligence of the surrender 
of Ward. Startled at this information, he was at a loss how 
to act, as Colonel Fry had not arrived. But resolved on 
checking the encroachments of the French, he determined to 
erect a fort at the mouth of Redstone, (Brownsville,) and 
pushing on boldly into the wilderness, had, by the 
L "-' 9th of May, reached the Little Meadows, at the 

head of the Youghiogheny river." 

Halting here his little command, Washington descended 
the Youghiogheny to ascertain the chances of transporting 
his men and artillery by water, and also to gather informa- 
tion as to the movements of the French. 

Finding the route by water impracticable, he returned, and 
soon after a messenger from his old friend, the 
L *" ■-' Half King, came into camp to apprize him of 

the rapid advance of a small party of Frenchmen. On the 
same day, his former guide, Gist, called and confirmed the 
statement of the Indian. But this information did not in the 
least dishearten the gallant young commander. With the 
least possible delay he hurried on to the " Great Meadows," 
an open and level piece of ground, and well adapted for a 
place of defence. Here a hurried entrenchment was formed, 
and every preparation made for meeting and resisting an 
attack. Some time during the night a second express from 
Tanacharison brought intelligence that the French were en- 
camped in a deep vale about six miles from his own position, 
and to strike an effective blow it would be necessary to move 
at once. Although the night w^as intensely dark, and the 
rain falling in torrents, Washington, with the Indian guide, 
led his little army forward, determined to anticipate the 
attack of the French. Who can conceive the terrors of that 
midnight mountain march over cragged rocks, through deep 

1754.] HIS FIEST BATTLE. 63 

ravines, amid the thunder of the elements and the darkness 
visible which reigned around ! With undaunted nerve the 
youthful officer pressed on in the track of his Indian guide, 
while his men followed in silence, for the sullen sound of the 
thunder and fierce sweeping of the tempest smothered alike the 
heavy tread of the one, and the stern command of the other. 

At gray dawn, the united force of provincials and Indians 
surrounded the camp of the French, who, little dreading an 
attack at that time and place, were reposing in 
conscious security. The guard, discovering the ■- *J 

presence of their foe, sounded the alarm, when an almost 
simultaneous discharge took place. 

M. De Jumonville, commander of the French, with ten of 
his men, fell at the first fire ; the balance surrendered without 
further resistance. 

Thus was shed the first blood in a war which Smollett 
has ignorantly termed a "Native of America,"^ and which, 
speedily involved England and her colonies in a long and 
bloody conflict. 

It deserves to be commemorated as Washington's first 
battle. It marked the man as one born to no ordinary des- 
tiny ; it served to prepare him for the great and splendid 
achievements which so gloriously crowned his after life. 

In this affair Washington had one man killed and two 
wounded. The prisoners were marched to the " Meadow," 
and thence sent to Virginia. During the action, a Canadian 
made his escape, and conveyed information of the defeat to 
the commandant at Fort Du Quesne. 

Washington, anticipating renewed efforts on the part of the 
French, enlarged and strengthend his position, which he very 
appropriately called '•'' Fort Necessity .'"^ He was soon joined 

' Continuation of Hume, viii., 514. 

2 Grahame iii., 371 ; Marshall's Washington, ii. 7. 

During the past year, a company has been chartered by the Pennsylvania 
Legislature, to erect a monument upon this spot, in commemoration of the 
braA-ery, skill, and devotion of Washington. It is to be of iron, about fifty 


by Captain Mackey's independent company from South Caro- 
lina, and a number of friendly Indians. Captain Mackey, 
holding a commission from the English Crown, claimed pre- 
cedence over a colonial officer of equal grade, and attempted 
to take command of the little army. But this idea he was 
very soon compelled to abandon, as the disaffection became 
so manifest, that he knew it would be dangerous to insist 
upon his conceived rights. Very reluctantly, he was forced 
to yield to the superior genius of our incomparable Wash- 


On the 31st of May, Colonel Fry died at Wills creek, and 
thus the whole command devolved upon Washing- 
L ■-' ton. On the 10th of June, Indian runners noti- 

fied him that the Shawanese and Delawares had 
L ' 'J leagued with the French against the English. On 
the following day, Colonel Washington marched with his 
entire force, except Captain Mackey's company, left in com- 
mand of Fort Necessity. His object was to reach the Mo- 
nongahela, and erect a fort at the mouth of Red-stone. He 
had time only to reach Gist's place, at the foot of Laurel 
hill, when he was apprized of the advance of the French, 
and cautioned against proceeding, as they " were as numerous 
as the pigeons in the woods. "^ Convinced, by the various 
accounts, that the French force was very great, a retreat was 
ordered. Washington set the noble example of lending his 
horse for the transportation of public stores, &c. The army 
reached its entrenchments on the 1st day of July. 
L ■-'It was the intention of Washington to have pro- 

ceeded to Wills creek, but the men, greatly fatigued by their 
mountain march, were unwilling to go further.^ 

feet in height, and of handsome and appropriate design. We sincerely hope 
that the movement may be successful, and the rude site of Fort Necessity 
beautified by such a structure as that proposed. 

' Marshall's Washington, ii., 8. 

2 The army had been without bread for eight days, and from famine and 
fatigue, were almost exhausted. 

1754.] FRENCH ATTACK. — A PARLEY. - 65 

Every effort was made to prepare to give a vigorous resist- 
ance. But what could four or five hundred men, without 
bread, and shut up in a half-finished fortress on the top of a 
mountain, hope to accomplish against a well-fed and well-dis- 
ciplined force of three times their own number ? 

Early on the 3d of July, the French and Indians came in 
view of the fort. In a short time, and while at 
the distance of six hundred yards, they com- ^ *-• 

menced firing. 

" Colonel Washington had drawn up his men on the level 
ground^ outside of the trench, waiting for an attack, whic 
he presumed would be made as soon as the enemy's forces 
emerged from the woods." He suspected the distant firing a 
mere ruse to draw his men into the forest ; but finding they 
would not approach, he stationed his men within the trenches, 
and ordered them to fire at discretion. 

The French and their allies kept at a respectable distance 
during most of the day, but maintained a brisk fire from about 
11 o'clock A.M. to 8 P.M. It rained heavily during the 
whole day, and most of Washington's army stood in water 
above their knees. 

At 8 o'clock in the evening, the French commander ordered 
a parley, as he saw it would be useless to continue the siege 
any longer. A large number of his men had fallen before 
the unerring aim of colonial riflemen, and a truce of any kind 
was highly acceptable. 

Washington's position was no better, and he was glad of 
a respite on any honorable terms. He well knew that the 
enemy's forces were vastly superior to his own, and could not 
but apprehend the result of a second day's siege. Darkness 

1 The plate in Sparks' Washington, i. opposite page 56, conveys a pretty 
correct idea of the Great Meadows, and the locality of Fort Necessity. 
The entrenchments of AVashington are still faintly to be traced, about three 
hundred yards south of the Cumberland road, although the hand of time, 
and the ploughshare of the husbandman, have nearly obliterated every ves- 
tige of that memorable enclosure. 


QQ CAPiTULATioisr : [Chap. VII. 

too, lay upon the earth ; his men "were in mud and water 
above their knees ; many had their guns wet and out of order ; 
they were without provisions, and no hope of a supply ; what 
else then, could he do, but agree to terms ? 

But, when the truce flag was sent him, apprehending trea- 
chery, he refused to receive it. On a second application, 
however, accompanied by a request that an ofiicer might be 
sent out, De Yillier pledging his honor that no violence 
should be done him. Colonel Washington despatched Captain 
Van Braam, who was the only person under his command 
who pretended to understand the French language.^ In a 
short time the Captain returned, bearing with him articles of 
capitulation. These he read, and pretended to interpret to 
his commander ; but from gross ignorance of the French lan- 
guage, he was the means of inflicting a great wrong upon the 
fame and character of Washington.^ The terms of capitula- 
tion were alike honorable to both parties. Washington, with 
his men, were to leave Fort Necessity with everything but ' 
their artillery; to march out with drums and fife, displaying 
colors, &c. The prisoners taken at the defeat of Jumonville, 
were to be returned ; and for the observance of this condition, 
Captains Van Braam and Stobo were to be retained by the 
French as hostages. It was further agreed, that the party 
yielding, should not attempt to "build any more entrench- 
ments west of the mountains," for one year.^ 

1 "We should, perhaps, hav,e excepted the Chevalier de Peyrotmy, an ensign 
in the Virginia regiment ; but he was so badly wounded, as to have rendered 
it impossible to act on this occasion. 

2 In the terms of capitulation, the death of Jumonville is worded, " I'as- 
sassinat du sieur du Jumonville," which Vanbraam interpreted simply, as 
/'the death of Jumonville," to which Washington could take no exception, 
and which himself and Mackey unhesitatingly signed ; thus virtually ac- 
knowledging the affair of May 28th, a murderous assault. Mr. Sparks, 
in his Appendix to Washington's papers, (ii., 447 — 459,) has discussed this 
matter at length, and fully and clearly answered the aspersions of malicious 
British authors. 

^ Sparks. 

1754.] THE TERMS. 67 

Washington and liis men marched out early on the follow- 
ing morning, July 4, and proceeded at once to 
Wills creek, hut were greatly harassed during L -J 

most of the way, hy bands of savages, who hung upon their 
trail. Colonel Washington lost no time in repairing to Wil- 
liamsburg, and communicating to the colonial authorities the 
events of the campaign. So well satisfied were the members 
of the Assembly, that a vote of thanks was passed to the gal- 
lant commander and all who had served under him.^ This 
acknowledgment of the bravery, skill, and energy of the little 
army, was well merited. It had surmounted formidable diffi- 
culties, kept a superior foe at bay, and even in defeat, had 
secured a most honorable capitulation.^ 

The conduct of Washington throughout this expedition, 
gave a glorious presage of the illustrious career which an All- 
wise Providence had marked out before him. 

As a copy of the capitulation signed on this occasion may 
not be uninteresting to many of our readers, we give it below 
in full. In connection with this matter, we will state that a 
very old copy (supposed to have been made at the time,) has 
recently been found in possession of an aged Frenchman at 
Detroit. The paper had been in the family for many years, 
without their appearing to know its value or character. At 
length, Hon. W. Woodbridge, late United States Senator 
from Michigan, looking over the old man's papers, found the 
relic alluded to. 

Art. 1. We permit the English commander to withdraw, 
with all his garrison, to go back peaceably to his country, 
and we engage on our part, to prevent that any insult should 
be committed upon him by our Frenchmen, and to hinder as 
much as will be in our power all the savages who are with us. 

Art. 2. He will be permitted to withdraw and carry away 
all that belongs to them, with the exception of the artillery, 
which we reserve for ourselves. 

Art. 3. That we accord them the honors of war ; that 

' Sparks, i. 57-8 ; Burke, iii. 187. ^ Howisson. 


they will go out, drum beating, with a small cannon, wish- 
ing by that to prove to them that we treat them as friends. 

Art. 4. That as soon as the articles are signed on both 
sides, they will bring the English flag. 

Art. 5. That to-morrow at the break of day a French 
detachment will go to cause the garrison to file off, and take 
possession of said fort. 

Art. 6. That as the English have scarcely any horses or 
oxen left, they will be at liberty to hide or secrete their goods, 
so that they may carry them away when they have obtained 
horses ; to this end they will be permitted to leave guards in 
such number as they think proper, upon condition that they 
will give parol of honor, that they will not labor at any settle- 
ment in this place, nor beyond the high grounds, for one 
year to commence from this day. 

Art. 7. That as the English have in their power an 
officer and two cadets, and generally the prisoners which 
they have made at the time of the murder of Sir de Jumon- 
ville, and that they engage to send them with safe guard to 
Fort Du Quesne, situated upon the Beautiful River, (Ohio) 
therefore, for the security of this article, as well as of this 
treaty, Messrs. Jacob Vanbraam and Eobert Stobo, both 
captains, will be given us as hostages, until the arrival of 
our Frenchmen and Canadians, as above mentioned. We 
oblige ourselves on our part to give escort, and return in 
safety the two officers who promised us our Frenchmen in two 
months and a half at the furthest. 

Made duplicate upon one of the posts of our block house, 
the day and year as above stated. 

Have signed, Messrs. James Mackey, George Washington, 
Coulon Villier. 

As we have already stated, when the Virginia House of 
Burgesses met in August, they requested the Governor to lay 
before them a copy of the capitulation, and, upon a due con- 
sideration of the subject, passed a vote of thanks to Colonel 
Washington and his officers for their bravery and gallant de- 
fence of their country. The names of all the officers were 
enumerated, except those of the Major of the regiment, and 
of Captain Vanbraam, the former of whom was charged with 
cowardice, and the latter with having acted a treacherous part 
in his interpretation of the articles. The Burgesses, also, in 
an address to the Governor, expressed their approbation of 


the instructions he had given to the officers and forces sent 
on the Ohio expedition. In short, all the proceedings of the 
campaign were not only approved, but applauded, by the re- 
presentatives of the people, and by the public generally. A 
pistole was granted to each of the soldiers, who had been in 
the engagement. To the vote of thanks Washington replied 
as follows: 


WiLLiAMSBUnG, October 23, 1754. 

Sir — Nothing could give me, and the officers under my 
command, greater satisfaction, than to receive the thanks of 
the House of Burgesses, in so particular and public a manner, 
for our behaviour in the late unsuccessful engagement with 
the French ; and we unanimously hope that our future pro- 
ceedings in the service of our country Avill entitle us to a con- 
tinuance of your approbation, I assure you, sir, I shall al- 
ways look upon it as my indispensable duty to endeavor to 
deserve it. 

I was desired by the officers of the Virginia regiment to 
make their suitable acknowledgments for the honor they have 
received in your thanks. I therefore hope the enclosed will 
be agreeable, and answer their, and the intended purpose of, 
sir, your most obedient and humble servant, 

George Washington. 



We, the officers of the Virginia regiment, are highly sensi- 
ble of the particular mark of distinction with which you have 
honored us, in returning your thanks for our behaviour in the 
late action, and cannot help testifying our grateful acknow- 
ledgments for your high sense of what we shall always es- 
teem a duty to our country and the best of kings. 

Favored with your regard, we shall zealously endeavor to 
deserve your applause, and by our future actions strive to con- 
vince the worshipful House of Burgesses, how much we es- 
teem their approbation, and, as it ought to be, regard it as 
the voice of our country. 

Signed for the whole corps, 

George Washington. 



A number of recent writers on Western History, among whom we may mention 
Dr. Hildreth, in his "Pioneer History," Col. Geo. W. Thompson, one of the 
Commissioners appointed to adjust the boundary question between Virginia 
and Ohio, and several others, speak of the destruction in 1753 of an English 
trading house at Logstown.' 

Col. Thompson, in support of his position, that Virginia authority ex- 
tended west of the Ohio, alleges, " That the first acts of hostility on the part 
of the French, clearly indicate the possession and extensive establishment 
of Virginia, west of the Apalachian mountains — west of the Ohio river." 
And then quotes from SmoUett and Burke, in reference to the destruction of 
the post at Logstown. 

AVithout desiring to enter upon a discussion of this point, it may be alone 
necessary to say, that apart from the unreliable statements of Smollett and 
other British writers, we have no evidence of the existence of any trading 
post at Logstown, of the date referred to. Washington, who was there in 
1753, makes no allusion to it in his journal. Important cotemporary papers, 
now among the archives of the Ohio Historical Society, make no mention of 
such a thing ; and it is therefore most probable that the desti-uction of the 
post referred to by Smollett, Burke, Russell, and others, was on the Miami, 
and not at Logstown, on the Ohio. 


The treaty of Lancaster, made in 1744, presents a very correct idea of 
the manner in which the simple-hearted children of the forest were dealt 
with by their Christian brethren. 

The necessity for this treaty grew out of the fact that settlements had been 
made on the Indian lands in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Passing 
over the first three days' proceedings as detailed by Marshe, one of the Se. 
cretaries, we commence with the operations of Monday, June 24th. "On 
this day, speaking began, to the satisfaction of all parties, and ended mer- 
rily with dancing and music, and a great supper. On Tuesday and Wednes- 
day also, speeches were made, varied by dances, in which appeared some 

' Most of the old authorities place this village on the north side of the river. 
Croghan, in his journal, locates it on the south side, and all the old persons 
whom we have consulted, agree that it stood on the south, or left hand side 
in descending. 


very disagreeable "women, tcho danced wilder time than any Indian ! On 
Thursday, the goods were opened, -wherewith the Maryland people wished to 
buy the Indian claim to the lands on which settlements had been made. 
These goods were narrowly scanned by the red men, but at last taken for 
£220, Pennsylvania money, after which, they drank punch. Friday, the Six 
Nations agreed to the grant, and punch was drank again. On Saturday, a 
dinner was given the Indians, at which they di'ank heartily, fed heartily, 
and were very greasy before they finished ! After this, came the Commissioners 
from Virginia, supported by a due quantity of wine and bumbo, ^ and received 
' a deed releasing their claim to a large quantity of land lying in that 
colony,' the Indians being persuaded to ' recognize the King's right to all 
lands that are, or by his Majesty's appointment shall be within the colony 
of Virginia.' For this, they received £200 in gold, and a like sum in goods, 
with a promise, that as settlements increased, more should be paid, which 
promise was signed and sealed. "^ 

Such was the treaty of Lancaster, upon which the British based their claim 
by purchase to the lands on the Ohio. 

1 Eum and water. 2 Annals of the West, 48-9. 






In North-western Virginia, the earliest attempts at settle- 
ment were made on the Monongahela and its tributaries. 
Early in the spring of 1754, David Tygart and a man named 
Files, established themselves and families on the east branch 
of that river ; Tygart in the beautiful and highly productive 
valley which still bears his name, and Files at the mouth of 
a creek, where Beverly, the county-seat of Randolph, has 
since been located. These were the first settlements in Vir- 
ginia west of Laurel Ridge, and the family of Files became 
the first of that long and terrible list of unfortunate victims 
to savage ferocity with which the early annals of the west 
are stained. The pioneers soon felt convinced that their re- 
moval had been premature. Their provisions were about to 
fail, and not having been able to raise any, they wisely deter- 
mined to retrace their steps as speedily as possible. But, 
alas ! before the family of Files could be got ofi", the savages 
discovered them, and every member, except the oldest son, 
massacred. Tygart with his family escaped, and returned to 
their friends, east of the mountains. 


Two years previous to these occurrences, Christopher Gist, 
agent of the Ohio Company, settled on a tract of land in 
Fayette county, Pa., now well known as Mount Braddock. 
His was the first actual settlement west of the mountains on 
any of the tributaries of the upper Ohio. Being well known 
as an active and efficient backwoodsman, his presence in the 
west induced several other families to come out and settle 
around him. During the following year several adventurers 
visited that part of Pennsylvania, (supposed at the time to be 
in Virginia). Of these were Wendell Brown, his two sons, 
and Frederick Waltzer, who settled near where Brownsville 
now stands. Others visited different points on the Mononga- 
hela, above the mouth of Redstone, (Brownsville). 

Among this number were Dr. Thomas Eckarly and his two 
brothers. They were Pennsylvanians, and belonged to that 
peculiar order called Dunkers.^ In the wild and solitary 
regions of the West, these followers of the founder of 
Euphrate, hoped to find seclusion from the world, and the un- 
disturbed opportunity of carrying out the principles of their 
faith. After exploring the country for some distance, they 
finally settled on Cheat river, at the place now known as 
Dunker bottom. Here they lived in peace and plenty for 
some years (not, however, as a recent writer says, in " eating 
an abundance of meat, as delicious as the refined palate of a 
modern epicure could well wish," because, all animal food was 
expressly forbidden by their creed, except on special occa- 
sions). At length the despoiler came, and the single-hearted 
recluse fell before his ruthless hand.^ 

In the year 1758, a settlement was efi'ected near the mouth 

of Decker's Creek, by Thomas Decker and others. 

L *J In the spring of 1759, a party of Mingoes and 

1 Dunker, or, as it is generally called, Dunkard creek, which empties into 
the Monongahela, about ten miles below Morgantown, derives its name from 
these brothers making a short encampment on its banks. 

2 See Part vii. — Indian Wars. 


Delawares made a descent upon the inhabitants, and cut them 

Although adventurers continued to penetrate the country 
lying between the Monongahela river and Laurel ridge, no 
regular emigration took place, nor were any permanent settle- 
ments effected until 1768. During this year a number of 
persons made improvements on Buchanan, an important 
tributary to Tygart valley river ; other settlements were 
effected on the Monongahela. Tradition acquaints us with 
some circumstances attending the earlier settlements in this 
part of Virginia. In 1761, four men, (Childers, 
Linsey and two brothers, by the name of Pringle,) '- "-' 
deserted from Fort Pitt. Ascending the Monongahela, eight 
or ten miles above Brownsville, the party made a short stay, 
then crossed to the Youghiogheny, where they wintered. 

In one of their hunting rambles, Samuel Pringle came on 
a path which he supposed would lead to the inhabited parts of 
Virginia. On his return, he mentioned the discovery and his 
supposition, to his comrades, and they resolved on tracing it. 
This they accordingly did, and it conducted them to Loony's 
creek, then the most remote western settlement. While among 
the inhabitants on Loony's creek, they were recognized, and 
some of the party apprehended as deserters. John and 
Samuel Pringle succeeded in making an escape to their camp 
in the glades, where they remained till some time in the year 

During this year, and while in the employ of John Simp- 
son, (a trapper, who had come there in quest of furs,) they 
determined on removing farther west. Simpson was induced 
to this by the prospect of enjoying the woods free from the 
intrusion of other hunters (the glades having begun to be a 
common hunting ground for the inhabitants of the south 
branch ;) while a regard for their personal safety caused the 
Pringles to avoid a situation in which they might be exposed 
to the observation of other men. 

In journeying through the wilderness, and after having 
crossed Cheat river, at the Horse-shoe, a quarrel arose be- 

1 See Part vii. — Indian Wars. 


tween Simpson and one of the Pringles ; and notwithstand- 
ing that peace and harmony "were so necessary to their mutual 
safety and comfort, yet each so far indulged the angry 
passions which had been excited as at length to produce a 

Simpson crossed over the Yalley river, near the mouth of 
Pleasant creek, and passing on to the head of another water 
course, gave to it the name of Simpson's creek. Thence he 
went westward, and fell over on a stream which he called Elk : 
at the mouth of this he erected a camp, and continued to 
reside for more than twelve months. During this time he 
neither saw the Pringles nor any human being ; and at the 
expiration of it went to the south branch, where he disposed 
of his furs and skins and then returned to, and continued 
at, his encampment, at the mouth of Elk, until permanent 
settlements were made in its vicinity. 

The Pringles kept up the Valley river till they observed a 
large right hand fork, (now Buchanan,) which they ascended 
some miles ; and at the mouth of a small branch, (afterwards 
called Turkey run,) they took up their abode in the cavity of 
a large sycamore tree. The stump of this is still (1831) to 
be seen, and is an object of no little veneration with the im- 
mediate descendants of the first settlers. 

The situation of these men, during a residence here of 
several years, although rendered somewhat necessary by their 
previous conduct, could not have been very enviable. De- 
serters from the army, a constant fear of discovery filled them 
with apprehension. In the vicinity of a savage foe, the 
tomahawk and scalping knife were ever present to their 
imaginations. Remote from civilized man, their solitude was 
hourly interrupted by the frightful shrieks of the panther, or 
the hideous bowlings of the wolf. And though the herds of 
bufi"alo, elk and deer which sported around, enabled them 
easily to supply their larder, yet the want of salt, of bread, 
and of every species of vegetable, must have abated their 
relish for the otherwise delicious loin of the one and haunch 
of the others. The low state of their little magazine, too, 
while it limited their hunting, caused them, from a fear of 
discovery, to shrink at the idea of being driven to the settle- 
ments for a supply of ammunition. And not until they were 
actually reduced to two loads of powder, could they be in- 
duced to venture again into the vicinity of their fellow-men. 
In the latter part of the year 1767 John left his brother, and 

1768.] THE LOXELY MAN. 77 

intending to make for a trading post on tlie Shenandoah, 
appointed the period of his return. 

Samuel Pringle, in the absence of John, suffered a good 
deal. The stock of provisions left him became entirely ex- 
hausted — one of his loads of powder was expended in a fruit- 
less attempt to shoot a buck — his brother had already delayed 
his return several days longer than was intended, and the 
other was apprehensive that he had been recognized, taken to 
Fort Pitt, and would probably never get back. With his 
remaining load of powder, however, he was fortunate enough 
to kill a fine buffalo ; and John soon after returned with the 
news of peace, both with the Indians and French. The two 
brothers agreed to leave their retirement. 

Their wilderness habitation was not left without some regret. 
Every object around had become more or less endeared to 
them. The tree, in whose hollow they had been so frequently 
sheltered from storm and tempest, was regarded with so great 
a reverence that they resolved, so soon as they could prevail 
on a few others to accompany them, again to return to this 
asylum of their exile. 

In a population such as then composed the chief part of 
the south branch settlement, this was no difficult matter. All 
of them were used to the frontier manner of living ; the most 
of them had gone thither to acquire land ; many had failed 
entirely in this object, while others were obliged to occupy 
poor and broken situations off the river ; the fertile bottoms 
having been previously located. Add to this the passion of 
hunting, (which was a ruling one with many,) with the com- 
parative scarcity of game in their neighborhood, and it need 
not excite surprise that the proposition of the Pringles to 
form a settlement, in such a country as they represented that 
on Buchanan to be, was eagerly embraced by many. 

In the fall of the ensuing year, (1768,) Samuel Pringle, 
and several others who wished first to examine for themselves, 
visited the countj-y which had been so long occupied by the 
Pringles alone. Being pleased with it, they repaired thither, 
with a few others, in the following spring, with the view of 
cultivating as much corn as would serve their families the first 
year after emigrating. Having examined the country, some 
of them proceeded to improve the spots of their choice. John 
Jackson, (who was accompanied by his sons, George and 
Edward,) settled at the mouth of Turkey run, where his 
daughter, Mrs. Davis, now (1831) lives — John Hacker, 


higher up on Buchanan river, where Bush's fort was after- 
wards established — Alexander and Thomas Sleeth, near to 
Jackson's, on what is now known as the Forenash plantation. 
The others of the party, (William Hacker, Thomas and Jesse 
Hughes, John and William Radcliif and John Brown,) appear 
to have employed their time exclusively in hunting, neither 
of them making any improvement of land for his own benefit. 
Yet were they of very considerable service to the new settle- 
ment. Those who had commenced clearing land, were sup- 
plied by them with abundance of meat, while in their hunting 
excursions through the country a better knowledge of it was 
obtained than could have been acquired had they been engaged 
in making improvements. 

In one of these expeditions, they discovered and gave name 
to Stone-coal creek, which, flowing westwardly, induced the 
supposition that it discharged itself directly into the Ohio. 
Descending this creek, to ascertain the fact, they came to its 
confluence with a river, which they then called, and which has 
since been known as the West Fork. After having gone some 
distance down the river, they returned by a diff'erent route to 
the settlement, better pleased with the land on it and some of 
its tributaries than with that on Buchanan. 

Soon after this, other emigrants arrived under the guidance 
of Samuel Pringle. Among them were John and Benjamin 
Outright, who settled on Buchanan, where John Outright, 
the younger, now lives, and Henry Rule, who improved just 
above the mouth of Fink's run. Before the arrival of Samuel 
Pringle, John Hacker had begun to improve the spot which 
Pringle had chosen for himself. To prevent any unpleasant 
result. Hacker agreed that if Pringle would clear as much 
land on a creek which had been recently discovered by the 
hunters, as he had on Buchanan, they could then exchange 
places. Oomplying with this condition, Pringle took posses- 
sion of the farm on Buchanan, and Hacker of the land im- 
proved by Pringle on the creek, which was hence called 
Hacker's creek. John and William Radclifi" then settled on 
this stream. These comprise all the improvements which 
were made on the upper branches of the Monongahela in the 
years 1769 and 1770. 

At the close of the working season of 1769, some of these 
adventurers went to their families on the south branch ; and 
when they returned to gather their crops in the fall, found 
them entirely destroyed. In their absence the bufi"aloes, no 

1770.] RAPID EMIGRATIOlSr. 79 

longer awed by the presence of man, had trespassed on their 
enclosures, and eaten then- corn to the ground— this delayed 
the removal of their families till the winter of 1770.^ 

In 1770, emigrants began to reach the Monongahela and 
Ohio rivers in considerable number. During this year, Capt. 
Cresap erected a cabin at the mouth of Nemocalling^ creek, 
(now Dunlap's,) which at that time was the initial point of 
the great trail over the Alleghanies, a route pursued by Brad- 
dock, and afterwards with but few changes, and those for 
the worse, adopted for the Cumberland or National road.^ 
This point continued for many years the principal place of 
embarkation for the whole western and southern country. 

The Horse-shoe bottom on Cheat river was settled about 
this time by Capt. Parsons, while other portions of that very 
productive region were located by a number of enterprising 
men, among whom? we may mention Cuningham, Fink, Goff, 
Minear, Butler, &c. &c. 

The spirit of emigration seemed now effectually aroused, 
and as the fertility of the soil, salubrity of the climate, and 
apparently inexhaustible supply of game became more gene- 
rally known to those east of the mountains, the rush of emi- 
grants up to the breaking out of the Indian war, in 1774, 
was very great. They spread over the fine alluvion of the 
upper Monongahela ; along West Fork, Elk, and Simpson's 
creek. Of those who settled about this time in the neigh- 
borhood of Clarksburg, we find the names of Nutter, Cotrial, 
Beard, Fatten, Davisson, etc. 

' AVithers. 

2 The reader of taste, cannot but deplore the substitution of Anglo- 
American names, for the beautiful, poetic, aboriginal ones by which every 
hill, dale, and glen, — every mountain stream and bounding river were known. 
What a wretched spixit of change, or a contemptible desire to honor one's 
little self, that could have induced the earlier adventurers and first settlers, 
to substitute for the Indian names, so full of beauty and expression, the 
common and iinmeaning ones now in use. 




A NEW impulse to Western emigration seemed given ■with 
the commencement of the seventh decade of the eighteenth 

A spirit of inquiry and enterprise was awakened in many 
parts of the East, and men of indomitable courage and great 
energy of character pushed out into the illimitable wilderness, 
to explore the country and find themselves homes in the out- 
spread bosom of the great west. 

It was in this year that the Zanes first settled at the mouth 
of Wheeling creek, and the elder Tomlinson broke the silence 
of the wilds at Grave creek by the shrill echo of his never- 
failing rifle. 

The number, however, of those who ventured to the Ohio 
were few, indeed. It was considered extremely unsafe for 
the self-protecting hunter, but would have been deemed mad- 
ness to expose a family to so much hazard. Along the upper 
branches of the Monongahela settlements were made at seve- 
ral points. Of those who thus early struck for a home in the 
beautiful and highly fertile vallies of Western Virginia, were 
James Booth and John Thomas. They settled on what is 
now known as Booth's creek. 

Previous, however, to the actual settlement of the country, 
above the forks of the Monongahela, some few families (in 
1767) had establishsd themselves in the vicinity of Fort Red- 
stone, now Brownsville, Pennsylvania. At the head of these 
were Abraham Tegard, James Crawford, John Province and 
John Harden. The latter of these gentlemen afterwards re- 
moved to Kentucky, and became distinguished in the early 


history of that State, as well for the many excellencies of his 
private and public life, as for the untimely and perfidious 
manner of his death. 

In the succeeding year Jacob Vanmeter, John Swan, Thomas 
Hughes and some others, settled on the west side of the Mo- 
nongahela, near the mouth of Muddy creek, where Carmi- 
chaeltown now stands. 

In the same year, the place which had been occupied for a 
while by Thomas Decker and his unfortunate associates, near 
where Morgantown now stands, was settled by a party of 
emigrants ; one of whom was David Morgan, w^ho became so 
conspicuous for personal prowess, and for the daring yet de- 
liberate courage displayed by him during the subsequent 
hostilities with the Indians.-^ 

It was in June, 1770, that Joseph Tomlinson, from near 
Fort Cumberland, first visited the flats of Grave creek. ^ He 
was accompanied by his brother Samuel. Delighted with the 
beauty, extent and fertility of the bottom, he determined to 
fix here his abode. Building a cabin, he remained during the 
summer and fall, and then returned east of the mountains to 
remove with his family in the following spring. Increased 
apprehensions of Indian troubles induced him to r- ^j^n 
delay the final removal until the spring of 1773. '- ^'^ 

About the same time that Mr. Tomlinson first visited Grave 
creek, came Ebenezer Zane to Wheeling.^ Soon after, he 

1 Withers. 

* Washington, in his Journal of a Tour to the West, in 1770, speaks of apath 
leading from the settlement at Redstone, to this point, (Grave creek). By 
reference to the map, it will be perceived to be on nearly a direct line from 
Brownsville, and it was confidently believed at one time, that the National 
road would strike the river at this point. Washington makes no mention of 
any settlement below Fort Pitt. 

3 Simultaneous with the visits of Zane and Tomlinson, a man named Ty- 
gart settled near the mouth of Middle Island creek. Who he was, or what 
became of him, has never been satisfactorily ascertained. The fact of his 
settlement at the place referred to, has recently been gathered from a depo- 
sition of Andrew Zane, found among some old papers now in possession of 
the author. Zane, it appears, had gone down the river on a hunting expe- 
dition, as well as to examine the country. He of course was not a little 
surprised to find a white man's cabin, where he supposed the footstep of one 
had never fallen. The improvement of Tygart was the very first made below 
Wheeling, if we except that of Mr. Tomlinson, at Grave creek. 



was followed by his brothers, Andrew and Jonathan, with 
several others, from the south branch of Potomac. 

In 1772 came Bonnett, Wetzel, Messer, Silas Zane, and 
many other hardy pioneers from the same region ; men whose 
means and influence contributed greatly towards breaking the 
power of the savage and subduing the country to the wants 
of ci\dlized life. 

The emigrants crossed from Redstone by way of Cat-fish, 
(Washington,) and Scotch ridge, to the head of little Wheel- 
ing valley, thence down over the same path, afterwards taken 
for the National road. When within a few hundred yards 
of the forks of Wheeling, an incident occurred, trivial in its 
character, but important in its results. Wetzel was riding in 
advance of his company, when suddenly the girth of his 
saddle broke, and he was compelled to get off to repair it. 
Meantime Silas Zane passed on, and soon came to the forks, 
and greatly admiring the locality, commenced " tomahawk- 
ing" his "right."-' The land thus secured, (one thousand 
acres,) is now one of the most valuable and highly improved 
farms in Western Virginia.^ At this point the company 
separated, Wetzel, Bonnett and others, going up^ big Wheel- 

1 " Tomahawk rights, made by deadening a few trees at the head of a 
spring, and marking the bark of one or more of them with the initials of the 
name of the person who made the improvement," (Doddridge's Notes,) were 
generally respected by the primitive settlers. They were " often bought and 
sold ; those who wished to make settlements on their favorite tracts of land, 
bought up the tomahawk improvements, rather than enter into quarrels with 
those who had made them." (Ibid. 100.) 

2 These facts have been communicated to the author by the venerable Mrs. 
Cruger, whose father-in-law, Col. David Shepherd, purchased the land from 
Silas Zane. 

3 It has been stated that when "Wetzel and his companions struck across 
the bottom above the forks, they fully believed that the main creek ran in 
that direction, and their object was to head Zane, by getting to the river first. 
The mistake was not discovered until they had reached the creek, a mile 
above, and knowing it would be too late to retrace their steps, kept up. 
It is not surprising that they should have mistaken the direction of the 
creek, for most persons standing by the little creek, three or four hundred 
yards above the forks, would, if not better informed, declare that the stream 
ran in the direction taken by Wetzel and his party. 

1772.] EARLY SETTLERS. 83 

ing, while Zane, with one or two others, went down.^ Other 
emigrants soon followed, and the fine lands along Wheeling, 
BuiFalo and Short creeks, were not long unclaimed by actual 

Some of the earliest occupants of the fine creek and river 
bottoms above Wheeling, were George Lefiler, Benjamin Biggs, 
Joshua Baker, Zachariah Sprigg, Andrew Swearengen, David 
Shepherd, the McCollogh's, Mitchells, Van Metres, Millers, 
Kellers, &c. &c. &c. 

During this year (1772) many emigrants also pushed into 
the fine regions along the upper Monongahela. The spirit of 
adventure seemed aroused, and many of the sturdy settlers 
from the south branch found their way into the fertile vallies 
of Western Virginia. 

It was in this year, says Withers, that the comparatively 
beautiful region lying on the east fork of the Monongahela, 
between the Alleghany mountains, on its south-eastern, and 
the Laurel hill, or as it is there called the Rich mountain, on 
its north-western side, and which had received the denomina- 
tion of Tygart's valley, again attracted the attention of emi- 
grants. — In the course of this year, the greater part of the 
valley was located, by persons said to have been enticed 
thither by the description given of it, by some hunters from 
Greenbriar who had previously explored it. Game, though a 
principal was not however their sole object. They possessed 
themselves at once of nearly all the level land lying between 
these mountains — a plain of 25 or 80 miles in length and 
varying from three-fourths to two miles in width, and of al- 
most unsurpassed fertility. Of those who were first to oc- 
cupy that section of country, we find the names of Hadden, 
Connely, Whiteman, Warwick, Nelson, Stalnaker, Rifile and 
Westfall : the latter of these found and interred the bones of 
Files' family, which had lain, bleaching in the sun, since the 
murder of these unfortunate settlers, by the Indians, in 1754. 

Cheat river too, on which no attempt at settlement had 

' A short distance below the forks, Zane discovered back water in the 
creek ; he made a mark indicating the height of canoe navigation. Since 
that time, (June, 1772,) Mrs. Cruger informed the author, there has not 
been a single recurrence of a like circumstance. 


been made, but by the unfortunate Eckarly's became an 
object of attention. 

In this year (1772) settlements were made on Simpson's 
creek, West-fork river, and Elk creek. Those who made 
the former were John Power, James Anderson and Jonas 


On Elk, and in the vicinity of Clarksburg, there settled 
Thomas Nutter, near to the Forge-mills; Samuel Cottrial, 
on the east side of the creek and nearly opposite to Clarks- 
burg ; Sotha Hickman, on the west side of the same creek, 
and above Cottrial ; Samuel Beard at the mouth of Nanny's 
run ; Andrew Cottrial above Beard, and at the farm now owned 
by John W. Patten; Daniel Davison, where Clarksburg is 
now situated ; and Obadiah Davison and John Nutter on the 
West-fork ; the former near to the old salt works, and the 
latter at the place now owned by Adam Hickman, Jr. 

There was likewise at this time, a considerable accession to 
the settlements on Buchanan and Hacker's creeks. So great 
was the increase of population in this latter neigborhood, that 
the crops of the preceding season did not afford more than 
one-third of the breadstuff, which would be ordinarily con- 
sumed in the same time, by an equal number of persons. 
Such indeed was the state of suffering among the inhabitants, 
consequent on this scarcity, that 1773 is traditionally known 
as the starving year. 

These were the principal settlements made in North- West- 
ern Virginia, previous to 1774. No sooner, however, was it 
known that such outposts had been established on the confines 
of civilization, than hundreds eagerly pressed forward, im- 
patient to join their more adventurous brethren, and all anx- 
ious to secure themselves homes in the expanseless domain 
stretched out before them. The same spirit actuated those 
hardy pioneers which has since so distinguished their descend- 
ants. That spirit, which spurning all restraints, subduing all 
to their will, breaking over every obstacle, has planted down 
the standard of liberty — that standard which their fathers 
first raised in the valley of the Ohio, in 1774 — on the shores 
of the distant Pacific. It was the true spirit of the old An- 


glo-Saxon, — bending purposes to his will ; it is now the 
proud impulse of every American heart, and will go on to 
subdue other people, and conquer other territories, until the 
whole of the "boundless continent" of North America is 

The men who settled North-Western Virginia, knew, when 
they commenced it, that 'twas to "'do or die." A fierce, im- 
placable, and deadly foe met them on every hand. To suc- 
ceed, required caution, energy, courage and hope. These, 
severally and unitedly, they exercised, and by them con- 
quered the savage and reclaimed the land. 

Many of the first settlers along the Ohio, difi"ered some- 
what from those who improved farther back. 

They were the same restless, energetic and enterprising 
people, united together by the same bonds of fraternal union, 
but looking for support through difi"erent channels. 

The fine facilities afforded by the Ohio for transporting 
their surplus produce to market^ rendered them more am- 
bitious, and more anxious of promoting their pecuniary in- 
terests, than their brethern in the interior. 

Others, again, looking forward to the time when the In- 
dians would be divested of the country north-west of the Ohio 
river, and it should be open to location in the same manner as 
its south-eastern shores were, selected this as a situation, from 
which they might more readily obtain possession of the fertile 
land, with which its ample plains were known to abound. In 
anticipation of this period, there were some who embraced 
every opportunity, afforded by intervals of peace with the 
Indians, to explore that country and select in it what they 
deemed its most valuable parts. Around these they would 
generally mark trees, or otherwise define boundaries by which 
they could be afterwards identified. The cession by Virginia 

' The Spaniards at New Orleans, from the first settlement of the country- 
west of the Alleghany mountains, sought to attach it to the province of 
Louisiana. Knowing the powerful efficacy of gold, in producing such results, 
they dispensed it with a liberal hand, to such as made New Orleans their 
market. The attachment of the first settlers to the free institutions of our 
country, baflled every attempt to estrange them from it. 


to the United States, of the north-western territory, and 
the manner in which its lands were subsequently brought into 
market, prevented the realization of those flattering, and ap- 
parently well founded expectations. 

There were also, in every settlement, individuals who had 
been drawn to them solely by their love of hunting, and an 
attachment to the wild, unshackled scenes of a wilderness life. 
These were, perhaps, totally regardless of all the inconvenien- 
cies resulting from their new situation ; except that of being 
occasionally pent up in forts ; and thus debarred the enjoyment 
of their favorite pastimes. 

Although hunting was not the object of most of the old set- 
tlers, yet it was for a good part of the year, the chief employ- 
ment of their time. And of all those who thus made their 
abode in the dense forest, and tempted aggression from the 
neighboring Indians, none were so well qualified to resist this 
aggression, and to retaliate upon its authors, as those who 
Avere mostly engaged in this pursuit. Of all their avocations, 
this " mimickry of war " best fitted them to thwart the savages 
in their purpose, and to mitigate the horrors of their peculiar 
mode of warfare. Those arts which enabled them, unper- 
ceived, to approach the watchful deer in his lair, enabled them 
likewise to circumvent the Indian in his ambush ; and if not 
always punish, yet frequently defeat him in his object. Add 
to this the perfect knowledge which they acquired of the 
woods, and the ease and certainty with which they conse- 
quently, when occasion required, could make their way to any 
point of the settlements and apprize the inhabitants of ap- 
proaching danger ; and it will be readily admitted that the 
more expert and successful the huntsman, the more skilful 
and efi"ective the warrior. 

But various as may have been their objects in emigrating, 
no sooner had they come together, than there existed in each 
settlement, a perfect unison of feeling. Similitude of situa- 
tion and community of danger, operating as a magic charm, 
stifled in their birth those little bickerings, which are so apt 
to disturb the quiet of society. Ambition of preferment and 
the pride of place, too often hindrances to social intercourse, 
were unknown among them. Equality of condition rendered 
them strangers, alike to the baneful distinctions created by 
wealth and other adventitious circumstances. A sense of 
mutual dependence for their common security linked them in 


amity; and conducting their several purposes in harmonious 
concert, together they toiled and together suffered. 

In their intercourse with others they were kind, beneficent 
and disinterested; extending to all the most generous hospi- 
tality which their circumstances could afi"ord. That selfish- 
ness, which prompts to liberality for the sake of remuneration, 
and profi"ers the civilities of life with an eye to individual in- 
terest, was unknown to them. They were kind for kindness 
sake; and sought no other recompense, than the never failing 
concomitant of good deeds — the reward of an approving con- 

Such were the pioneers of the West ; and the greater part of 
mankind might now derive advantage from the contemplation 
of "their humble virtues, hospitable homes and spirits patient, 
noble, proud and free — their self-respect, grafted on innocent 
thoughts; their days of health and nights of sleep — their 
toils, by danger dignified, yet guiltless — their hopes of cheer- 
ful old age and a quiet grave, y\iih. cross and garland over its 
green turf, and their grandchildren's love for epitaph." 

The above picture, couched in such truthful, simple, but 
eloquent language, we have thought not inappropriate, or un- 
merited. It represents the sturdy pioneer in his true charac- 
ter ; and could only be drawn by one who was an eye-witness 
to the scenes he so aptly, tersely and touchingly describes. 

Although a dark cloud hung upon the horizon, and fear 
trembled upon the heart of the pioneer as he looked tenderly, 
devotedly and afi"ectionately at his little household, — scarcely 
knowing at what moment the shaft of the destroyer might fall 
upon him, yet all was joy and happiness within. Content 
smiled upon his humble home. Sunshine was all around him, 
on the earth, in the sky, and beaming from the faces of little 
innocents who looked into his own, smilingly, touchingly, 

Such was the "Western Pioneer. How many are there not 
in the haunts of civilized life, who would gladly exchange 
their condition for that of the rude frontierman ? 

At the time of the formation of these settlements, all was 
comparative peace with the Indians. But the restless and 


reckless character of some who had come out, not for the 
purpose of opening up the country, but to depredate upon 
the Indians, soon made it manifest that the reign of peace 
would be short, as the Indians had threatened retaliation, 
unless the wrongs which they daily received should cease. 

Many little stockade forts had sprung up at different points 
on the Ohio and elsewhere, previous to 1774, which seemed 
to inspire confidence, and induce settlers to come on. 

Up to the spring of 1774, the tide of emigration flowed 
ri774 1 ^^^-^ steadily into this part of Virginia. But the 
atrocious murders committed near the mouth of 
Yellow creek, and at Captina, stirred the Indians up to 
vengeance, and for a long time checked the advancing foot- 
steps of civilization. 

The great object with all who emigrated hither was land. 
It could then be obtained literally, "for taking up." Erect- 
ing a cabin and raising a crop, entitled any one to a settler's 
right of four hundred acres, with a pre-emption claim to one 
thousand more, to be secured by a land-ofiice warrant. These 
certainly were great inducements, and the lands thus obtained 
became princely fortunes to the descendants of the primitive 

Most of the early settlers In this part of North-western 
Virginia were from the upper counties of Virginia and Mary- 
land. Many of them were men who had seen service, and 
been inured to the hardships of frontier life. They brought 
with them but little, as their removal had to be effected en- 
tirely on horseback. They were generally persons of staid 
habits and sterling worth ; possessed of great energy of 
character and incorruptible patriotism. 

As a description of the habits, customs, mode of living, 
&c., of the primitive settler may not be uninteresting to their 
descendants as well as the general reader, we will give from 
Dr. Doddridge's unpretending little volume a short account 
of some of these interesting features of pioneer life. The 
writer having been an eye-witness as well as an actor in most 




of the scenes he so aptly and graphically portrays, we doubt 
not he has drawn a faithful picture, and one which every old 
pioneer will be able to recognize. Only one who had been an 
eye-witness to such scenes, or derived them directly from the 
pioneer fathers, could properly describe them. 





A CORRECT and detailed view of the origin of societies, 
and their progress from one condition or point .of wealth, 
science and civilization, to another is interesting, even when re- 
ceived through the dusky medium of history, often times but 
poorly and partially written. But when this retrospect of 
things past and gone is drawn from the recollections of expe- 
rience, the impression which it makes on the heart must be 
of the most vivid and lasting kind. 

The following history of the state of society, manners and 
customs of our forefathers has been drawn from the latter 
source ; and is given to the world with the knowledge that 
many of my cotemporaries are still living, who, as well as 
myself, have witnessed all the scenes and events herein de- 
scribed, and whose memories will speedily detect and expose 
any errors it may contain. 

The municipal as well as ecclesiastical institutions of so- 
ciety, whether good or bad, in consequence of their continued 
use, give a corresponding cast to the public character of the 
society, whose conduct they direct, the more so, because, in 
the lapse of time, the observance of them becomes a matter 
of conscience. 

This observation applies with full force to that influence of 
our early land laws which allowed four hundred acres, and no 
more, to a settlement right. Many of our first settlers seemed 
to regard this amount of the surface of the earth as the allot- 
ment of Divine Providence for one family, and believed that 
any attempt to get more would be sinfnl. Most of them, 
therefore, contented themselves with that amount ; although 
they might have evaded the law, which allowed but one set- 
tlement right to any one individual, by taking out the title 
papers in the names of others, to be afterwards transferred 

1773.] ACQUIRING LAND. 91 

to them as if by purchase. Some few, indeed, pursued this 
practice ; but it was held in detestation. 

Owing to the equal distribution of real property directed 
by our land laws, and the sterling integrity of our forefathers, 
in their observance of them, we have no districts of " sold 
land," as it is called, that is, large tracts of lands in the 
hands of individuals or companies, who neither sell nor im- 
prove them, as is the case in Lower Canada and the north- 
western part of Pennsylvania. These unsettled tracks make 
huge blanks in the population of the country where they exist. 

The division lines between those whose lands adjoined, were 
generally made in an amicable manner, before any survey of 
them was made by the parties concerned. In doing this, they 
were guided mainly by the tops of ridges and water courses, 
but particularly the former. Hence, the greater number of 
farms in the western parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia bear 
a striking resemblance to an amphitheatre. The buildings 
occupy a low situation, and the tops of the surrounding hills 
are the boundaries of the tract to which the family mansion 

Our forefathers were fond of farms of this description, be- 
cause, as they said, they are attended with this convenience, 
"that everything comes to the house down hill." In the 
hilly parts of the State of Ohio, the land having been laid 
off in an arbitrary manner, by straight parallel lines, without 
regard to hill or dale, the farms present a different aspect 
from those on the east side of the river. There the buildings as 
frequently occupy the tops of the hills as any other situation. 

Our people had become so accustomed to the mode of 
"getting land for taking it up," that for a long time it was 
generally believed that the land on the west side of the Ohio 
would ultimately be disposed of in that way. Hence, almost 
the whole tract of country between the Ohio and Muskingum 
was parcelled out in tomahawk improvements ; but these were 
not satisfied with a single four hundred acre tract. Many of 
them owned a great number of tracts of the best land, and 
thus, in imagination, were as "wealthy as a South Sea dream." 
Some of these land jobbers did not content themselves with 
marking trees, at the usual height, with the initials of their 
names, but climbed up the large beech trees, and cut the let- 
ters in their bark from twenty to forty feet from the ground. 
To enable them to identify those trees at a future period, they 
made marks on other trees around as references. 


The settlement of a new country, in the immediate neigh- 
borhood of an old one, is not attended with much difficulty, 
because supplies can be readily obtained from the latter ; but 
the settlement of a country very remote from any cultivated 
region is quite a different thing, because at the outset, food, 
raiment, and the implements of husbandry are only obtained 
in small supplies, and with great difficulty. The task of 
making new establishments in a remote wilderness, in a time 
of profound peace, is sufficiently difficult ; but when, in addi- 
tion to all the unavoidable hardships attendant on this busi- 
ness, those resulting from an extensive and furious warfare 
with savages are superadded ; toil, privations and sufferings 
are then carried to the full extent of the capacity of men to 
endure them. 

Such was the wretched condition of our forefathers in 
making their settlements here. To all their difficulties and 
privations the Indian war was a weighty addition. This 
destructive warfare they were compelled to sustain almost 
single-handed, because the Revolutionary contest gave full 
employment for the military strength and resources on the 
east side of the mountains. 

The following history of the poverty, labors, sufferings, 
manners and customs of our forefathers, will appear like a 
collection of "tales of olden times," without any garnish of 
language to spoil the original portraits, by giving them shades 
of coloring which they did not possess. 

I shall follow the order of things as they occurred during 
the period of time embraced in these narratives, beginning 
with those rude accommodations with which our first adven- 
turers into this country furnished themselves at the commence- 
ment of their establishments. It will be a homely narrative, 
yet valuable on the ground of its being real history. 

In this chapter it is my design to give a brief account of 
the household furniture and articles of diet which were used 
by the first inhabitants of our country. A description of 
their cabins and half-faced camps, and their manner of building 
them, will be found elsewhere. 

The furniture for the table, for several years after the set- 
tlement of this country, consisted of a few pewter dishes, 
plates and spoons ; but mostly of wooden bowls, trenchers 
and noggins. If these last were scarce, gourds and hard- 
shelled squashes made up the deficiency. 

1773.] DIET, ETC. 93 

The iron pots, knives and forks were brought from the East, 
with the salt and iron, on pack-horses. 

These articles of furniture corresponded very well with the 
articles of diet. "Hog and hominy" were proverbial for 
the dish of which they were the component parts. Jonny- 
cake and pone were, at the outset of the settlements of the 
country, the ODly forms of bread in use for breakfast and 
dinner. At supper, milk and mush was the standard dish. 
When milk was not plenty, which was often the case, owing 
to the scarcity of cattle, or the want of proper pasture for 
them, the substantial dish of hominy had to supply the place 
of them ; mush was frequently eaten with sweetened water, 
molasses, bear's oil, or the gravy of fried meat. 

In our whole display of furniture, the delft, china and 
silver were unknown. It did not then, as now, require con- 
tributions from the four quarters of the globe to furnish the 
breakfast table, viz : the silver from Mexico ; the coffee from 
the West Indies ; the tea from China ; and the delft and porce- 
lain from Europe or Asia. Yet our homely fare, and unsightly 
cabins and furniture produced a hardy race, who planted the 
first footsteps of civilization in the immense regions of the 
West. Inured to hardships, bravery and labor, from their 
early youth, they sustained with manly fortitude the fatigue 
of the chase, the campaign and scout, and with strong arms 
"turned the wilderness into fruitful fields," and have left to 
their descendants the rich inheritance of an immense empire 
blessed with peace, and wealth, and prosperity. 

The introduction of delft ware was considered by many of 
the backwoods' people as a culpable innovation. It was too 
easily broken, and the plates of that ware dulled their scalp- 
ing and clasp-knives ; tea ware was too small for men — they 
might do for women and children. Tea and coffee were only 
slops, which, in the adage of the day, " did not stick by the 
ribs." The idea then prevalent was, that they were only de- 
signed for people of quality, who did not labor, or for the 
sick. A genuine backwoodsman would have thought himself 
disgraced by showing a fondness for such "slops." Indeed, 
many of them have, to this day, very little respect for them. 

But passing from the furniture, diet, &c., of our forefa- 
thers, we now come to speak of their dress, which will be 
found singular and interesting enough to many of the present 
day and generation. Some of our fashionables would scarcely 

94 DRESS. [Chap. III. 

be able to recognize in the picture, so faithfully and graphic- 
ally drawn by our venerable historian, the persons of their 
grandsires and dames. 

On 'the frontier, and pai-ticularly among those who were 
much in the habit of hunting, and going on scouts and cam- 
paigns, the dress of the men was partly Indian and partly 
that of civilized nations. 

The hunting shirt was universally worn. This was a kind 
of loose frock, reaching half-way down the thighs, with large 
sleeves, open before, and so wide as to lap over a foot or more 
when belted. The cape was large, and sometimes fringed 
with a ravelled piece of cloth, of a different color from that 
of the hunting shirt itself. The bosom of this dress served 
as a wallet to hold bread, cakes, jerk, tow for wiping the bar- 
rel of the rifle, or any other necessary for the hunter or 
warrior. The belt, which was always tied behind, answered 
several purposes, besides that of holding the dress together. 
In cold weather, the mittens, and sometimes the bullet-bag 
occupied the front part of it. To the right side was suspended 
the tomahawk, and to the left the scalping-knife, in its leath- 
ern sheath. The hunting shirt was generally made of linsey, 
sometimes of coarse linen, and a few of dressed deer-skins. 
These last were very cold and uncomfortable, in wet weather. 
The shirt and jacket were of the common fashion. A pair 
of drawers, or breeches and leggins were the dress of the 
thighs and legs, a pair of moccasins answered for their feet 
much better than shoes. These were made of dressed deer- 
skin. They were mostly of a single piece, with a gathering 
seam along the top of the foot, and another from the bottom 
of the heel, without gathers, as high or a little higher than 
the ankle joint. Flaps were left on each side, to reach 
some distance up the legs. These were nicely adapted to the 
ankles and lower part of the leg by thongs of deer-skin, so 
that no dust, gravel, or snow could get within the moccasin. 

In cold weather the moccasins were well stuffed with deers' 
hair or dry leaves, so as to keep the feet comfortably warm ; 
but in wet weather it was usually said, that wearing them was 
" a decent Avay of going barefooted ;" and such was the fact, 
owing to the spongy textm-e of the leather of which they 
were made. 

Owing to this defective covering of the feet more than to 
any other circumstance, the greater number of our hunters 

1773.] DRESS. 95 

and warriors were afflicted with rheumatism in their limbs. 
Of this disease they were all apprehensive in cold or wet weather, 
and therefore always slept with their feet to the fire, to pre- 
vent or cure it as well as they could. This practice unques- 
tionably had a very salutary effect, and prevented many of 
them from becoming confirmed cripples in early life. 

In the latter years of the Indian war, our young men be- 
came more enamored with the Indian dress. The drawers 
were laid aside and the leggins made longer, so as to reach 
the upper part of the thigh. The Indian breech-cloth was 
adopted. This was a piece of linen or cloth nearly a yard 
long, and eight or nine inches broad. This passed under the 
belt, before and behind, leaving the ends for flaps hanging 
before and behind over the belt. These flaps were sometimes 
ornamented with some coarse kind of embroidery work. To 
the same belt which secured the breech-cloth, strings, which 
supported the long leggins, were attached. When this belt, 
as was often the case, passed over the hunting shirt, the 
upper part of the thighs and part of the hips were naked. ^ 

The young warrior, instead of being abashed by this nu- 

• dity, was proud of his Indian dress. In some few instances 

I have seen them go into places of public worship in this dress. 

Their appearance, however, did not add much to the devotion 

of the young ladies.^ 

The linsey coats and bed-gowns, which were the universal 
dress of our women in early times, would make a strange figure 
at this day. 

The writer would say to the ladies of the present day, your 
ancestors knew nothing of the ruffles, leghorns, curls, combs, 
rings, and other jewels with which their fair daughters now 
decorate themselves. Such things were not then to be had. 

1 The author has frequently heard the old hunters say that this kind of 
dress "w^as the most comfortable, convenient, and desirable, that could have 
been invented for the times in -which it was used. Many of them have been 
heard to deplore the change which the advancing strides of civilization have 
compelled them to adopt. 

^ Our venerable chronicler might have added, that this was often the 
wedding dress. We have recently heard of an instance in which the bride 
objected to standing up with her intended in such a wedding suit. The yoimg 
man, doubtless feeling that he could appear no better, declared that she 
should take him as he was, or not at all. They were accordingly married 
without further ado. 

96 THE roET. [Chap. III. 

Many of the younger part of them we're pretty well grown 
before they ever saw the inside of a store-room, or even 
knew there was such a thing, unless by hearsay, and, indeed, 
scarcely that. 

Instead of the toilet, they had to handle the distaff or 
shuttle, the sickle or weeding-hoe, contented if they could 
obtain their linsey clothing, and cover their heads with a 
sun-bonnet made of six or seven hundred linen. 

Truly, this is a contrast to the condition and appearance of 
some of their fair descendants, who, with their ^500 shawls 
and $50 handkerchiefs, would appear oddly enough by the 
side of their grand-dams of 1776. 

The Fort. — My reader will understand, by this term, not 
only a place of defence, but the residence of a small number 
of families belonging to the same neighborhood. As the In- 
dian mode of warfare was an indiscriminate slaughter of all 
ages and both sexes, it was as requisite to provide for the 
safety of the women and children as for that of the men. 

The fort consisted of cabins, blockhouses and stockades. 
A range of cabins commonly formed one side at least of the 
fort. Divisions, or partitions of logs, separated the cabins 
from each other. The walls on the outside were ten or twelve 
feet high, the slope of the roof being turned wholly inward. 
Very few of these cabins had puncheon floors, the greater 
part were earthen. 

The blockhouses were built at the angles of the fort. They 
projected about two feet beyond the outer walls of the cabins 
and stockades. Their upper stories were about eighteen 
inches every way larger in dimension than the under one, 
leaving an opening at the commencement of the second story, 
to prevent the enemy from making a lodgment under their 
walls. In some forts, instead of blockhouses the angles of 
the fort were furnished with bastions. A large folding gate, 
made of thick slabs, nearest the spring, closed the fort. The 
stockades, bastions, cabins and blockhouse walls were fur- 
nished with port-holes at proper heights and distances. The 
whole of the outside was made completely bullet proof. 

It may be truly said that necessity is the mother of inven- 
tion, for the whole of this work was made without the aid of 
a single nail or spike of iron ; and for this reason, — such things 
were not to be had. 


In some places, less exposed, a single blockhouse, with a 
cabin or two, constituted the whole fort. 

Such places of refuge may appear very trifling to those 
who have been in the habit of seeing the formidable military 
garrisons of Europe and America ; but they answered the 
purpose, as the Indians had no artillery. They seldom attacked 
and scarcely ever took one of them. 

The families belonging to these forts were so attached to 
their own cabins on their farms, that they seldom moved into 
their fort in the spring until compelled by some alarm, as they 
called it ; that is, when it was announced by some murder 
that the Indians were in the settlement. 

[Dr. Doddridge, in the above, is not suflSciently clear in 
his distinction between the several places of defence to Avhich 
people resorted on the frontier in times of Indian trouble. 

The reader of this work would find himself very much con- 
fused by the several references which are made to forts, block- 
houses and stations, for the varied use of the terms would 
imply different structures. The description of Dr. D. does 
not imply this difference, and we shall therefore now supply 
the omission. 

Briefly, we will then state, that a fort was generally a stock- 
ade enclosure, embracing cabins, &c., for the accommodation 
of several families. Blockhouses often formed two or more of 
its corners. 

A station was a parallelogram of cabins, united by pali- ' 
sades, so as to present a continued wall on the outer side, the 
cabin doors opening into a common square, on the inner side. 

A blockhouse was a square double-storied structure, the 
upper story projecting over the lower about two feet, which 
space was left so that the inmates could shoot from above 
upon an enemy attempting to climb the walls. But one door 
opened into these rude and peculiar structures, and that was 
always very strong, so as to defy entrance by any ordinary 
means of assault. 

The men generally remained above; and many are the tales 
of border war wherein a few determined spirits successfully 
withstood the combined attacks of hundreds of Indians. 


98 HUNTING. [Chap. III. 

A blockhouse was considered the most safe for a small 
number. Those within felt themselves as secure against the 
ordinary assaults of their native enemy, as though they had 
been in the famous fortress of the Mediterranean.] 

HuNTiiS'G. — This was an important part of the employment 
of the early settlers of this country. For some years the 
woods supplied them with the greater amount of their sub- 
sistence, and with regard to some families at certain times, 
the whole of it; for it was no uncommon thing for families to 
live several months without a mouthful of bread. It frequently 
happened that there was no breakfast until it was obtained 
from the woods. Fur constituted the people's money. They 
had nothing else to give in exchange for rifles, salt, and iron, 
on the other side of the mountains. 

The fall and early part of the winter was the season for 
hunting the deer, and the whole of the winter, including part 
of the spring, for bears and fur skinned animals. It was a 
customary saying, that fur is good during every month in the 
name of which the letter R occurs. 

As soon as the leaves were pretty well down, and the wea- 
ther became rainy, accompanied with light snows, these men, 
after acting the part of husbandmen, so far as the state of 
warfare permitted them to do so, soon began to feel that they 
were hunters. They became uneasy at home. Every thing 
about them became disagreeable. The house was too warm. 
The feather bed too soft; and even the good wife was not 
thought, for the time being, a proper companion. The mind 
of the hunter was wholly occupied with the camp and chase. 

Hunting was not a mere ramble in pursuit of game, in 
Avhich there was nothing of skill and calculation ; on the con- 
trary, the hunter, before he set out in the morning, was in- 
formed by the state of the weather in what situation he might 
reasonably expect to meet with his game ; whether on the 
bottoms, sides, or tops of the hills. In stormy weather, the 
deer always seek the most sheltered places, and the leeward 
sides of the hills. In rainy weather, when there is not much 
wind, they keep in the open woods, on the high ground. 

In every situation it was requisite for the hunter to ascer- 
tain . the course of the wind, so as to get the leeward of the 
game. This he effected by putting his finger in his mouth, 
and holding it there until it became warm, then holding it 
above his head, the side which first becomes cold shows which 
way the Avind blows. 


As it was requisite, too, for the hunter to know the cardi- 
nal points, he had only to observe the trees to ascertain them. 
The bark of an aged tree is thicker and much rougher on the 
north than on the south side. The same thing may be said of 
the moss, it is much thicker and stronger on the north than 
on the south sides of the trees. 

The whole business of the hunter consisted of a succession 
of intrigues. From morning till night he was on the alert to 
gain the loind of his game, and approach them without being 
discovered. If he succeeded in killing a deer, he skinned it, 
and hung it up out of the reach of the wolves, and immedi- 
ately resumed the chase till the close of the evening, when he 
bent his course towards his camp ; when arrived there he 
kindled up his fire, and together with his fellow hunter, cooked 
his supper. The supper finished, the adventures of the day 
furnished the tales for the evening. The spike buck, the two 
and three pronged buck, the doe and barren doe, figured 
through their anecdotes with great advantage. 

The Wedding. — For a long time after the first settlement 
of this country, the inhabitants in general married young. 
There was no distinction of rank, and very little of fortune. 
On these accounts, the first impression of love resulted in mar- 
riage ; and a family establishment cost but a little labor, and 
nothing else. 

A description of a wedding from the beginning to the end, 
will serve to show the manners of our forefathers, and mark 
the grade of civilization which has succeeded to their rude 
state of society in the course of a few years. 

In the first years of the settlement of the country, a wed- 
ding engaged the attention of a whole neighborhood; and the 
frolic was anticipated by old and young with eager expecta- 
tion. This is not to be wondered at, when it is told that a 
wedding was almost the only gathering which was not accom- 
panied with the labor of reaping, log-rolling, building a cabin, 
or planning some scout or campaign. 

On the morning of the wedding-day, the groom and his 
attendants assembled at the house of his father, for the pur- 
pose of reaching the home of his bride by noon, which was 
the usual time for celebrating the nuptials; and which for 
certain reasons must take place before dinner. 

Let the reader imagine an assemblage of people, without a 
store, tailor, or mantuamaker within an hundred miles ; and 
an assemblage of horses, without a blacksmith or saddler 
within an equal distance. The gentlemen dressed in shoe- 


packs, moccasins, leather breeches, leggins, linsey hunting 
shirts, and all home made. The ladies dressed in linsey petti- 
coats and linsej or linen bed gowns, coarse shoes, stockings, 
handkerchiefs, and buckskin gloves, if any. If there were any 
buckles, rings, buttons, or ruffles, they were the relics of olden 
times; family pieces from parents or grand parents. The 
horses were caparisoned with old saddles, old bridles or halters, 
and pack-saddles, with a bag or blanket thrown over them : a 
rope or string as often constituted the girth as a piece of 

The march, in double-file, was often interrupted by the 
narrowness and obstructions of our horse-paths, as they were 
called, for we had no roads ; and these difficulties were often 
increased, sometimes by the good, and sometimes by the ill 
will of neighbors, by falling trees, and tying grape vines across 
the way. Sometimes an ambuscade was formed by the way 
side, and an unexpected discharge of several guns took place, 
so as to cover the wedding company with smoke. Let the 
reader imagine the scene which followed this discharge ; the 
sudden spring of the horses, the shrieks of the girls, and the 
chivalrous bustle of their partners to save them from falling. 
Sometimes, in spite of all that could be done to prevent it, 
some were thrown to the ground. If a wrist, elbow, or ankle 
happened to be sprained, it was tied with a handkerchief, and 
little more was thought or said about it. 

The ceremony of the marriage preceded the dinner, which 
was a substantial back-woods feast of beef, pork, fowls, and 
sometimes venison and bear meat, roasted and boiled, with 
plenty of potatoes, cabbage, and other vegetables. During 
the dinner the greatest hilarity always prevailed ; although 
the table might be a large slab of timber, hewed out with a 
broad axe, supported by four sticks set in auger holes ; and 
the furniture, some old pewter dishes, and plates ; the rest, 
wooden bowls and trenchers; a few pewter spoons, much bat- 
tered about the edges, were to be seen at some tables. The 
rest were made of horns. If knives were scarce, the deficiency 
was made up by the scalping knives which were carried in 
sheaths suspended to the belt of the hunting shirt. Every 
man carried one of them. 

After dinner the dancing commenced, and generally lasted 
till the next morning. The figures of the dances were three 
and four handed reels, or square setts, and jigs. The com- 
mencement was always a square four, which was followed by 
what was called jiging it off; that is, two of the four would 


single out for a jig, and were followed by the remaining 
couple. The jigs were often accompanied with what was 
called cutting out ; that is, when either of the parties became 
tired of the dance, on intimation the place was supplied by 
some one of the company without any interruption to the 
dance. In this way a dance was often continued till the 
musician was heartily tired of his situation. Toward the lat- 
ter part of the night, if any of the company, through weari- 
ness, attempted to conceal themselves, for the purpose of 
sleeping, they were hunted up, paraded on the floor, and the 
fiddler ordered to play "Hang out till to-morrow morning." 

About nine or ten o'clock, a deputation of the young ladies 
stole off the bride, and put her to bed. In doing this, it fre- 
quently happened that they had to ascend a ladder instead of 
a pair of stairs, leading from the dining and ball room to the 
loft, the floor of which was made of clapboards lying loose. 
This ascent, one might think, would put the bride and her 
attendants to the blush; but as the foot of the ladder was 
commonly behind the door, which was purposely opened for 
the occasion, and its rounds at the inner ends were well hung 
with hunting shirts, dresses, and other articles of clothing, 
the candles being on the opposite side of the house, the exit 
of the bride was noticed but by few. This done, a deputation 
of young men in like manner stole off the groom, and placed 
him snugly by the side of his bride. The dance still con- 
tinued ; and if seats happened to be scarce, which was often 
the case, every young man, when not engaged in the dance, 
was obliged to offer his lap as a seat for one of the girls ; and 
the offer was sure to be accepted. In the midst of this hilarity 
the bride and groom were not forgotten. Pretty late in the 
night, some one would remind the company that the new 
couple must stand in need of some refreshment : hlach Betty, 
which was the name of the bottle, was called for, and sent up 
the ladder ; but sometimes black Betty did not go alone, I 
have many times seen as much bread, beef, pork and cabbage 
sent along, as would afford a good meal for half a dozen 
hungry men. The young couple were compelled to eat and 
drink, more or less, of whatever was offered. 

But to return. It often happened that some neighbors or 
relations, not being asked to the wedding, took offence ; and 
the mode of revenge adopted by them on such occasions, was 
that of cutting off the manes, foretops, and tails of the horses 
of the wedding company. 

On returning to the infare, the order of procession, and the 


race for black Betty was the same as before. The feasting 
and dancing often lasted several days, at the end of which the 
whole company were so exhausted with loss of sleep, that 
many days' rest were requisite to fit them to return to their 
ordinary labors. 

Should I be asked why I have presented this unpleasant 
portrait of the rude manners of our forefathers, I, in turn, 
would ask my reader, why are you pleased with the histories 
of the blood and carnage of battles ? Why are you delighted 
with the fictions of poetry, the novel and romance ? I have 
related truth, and only truth, strange as it may seem. I have 
depicted a state of society, and manners, which are fast van- 
ishing from the memory of man, with a view to give the youth 
of our country a knowledge of the advantages of civiliza- 
tion, and to give contentment to the aged, by preventing 
them from saying, " that former times were better than the 

House Waeming. — I will proceed to state the usual man- 
ner of settling a young couple in the world. 

A spot was selected on a piece of land belonging to one of 
the parents, for their habitation. A day was appointed shortly 
after the marriage, for commencing the work of building their 

The materials for the cabin were mostly prepared on the 
first day and sometimes the foundation laid in the evening. 
The second day was allotted for the raising. 

The cabin being furnished, the ceremony of house warming 
took place, before the young couple were permitted to move 
into it. 

The house warming was a dance of a whole night's con- 
tinuance, made up of the relations of the bride and groom, 
and their neighbors. On the day following the young couple 
took possession of their new premises. 

We desire now to say a few words about the sports of the 
pioneers. These were such as might be expected among a 
people, who, owing to their circumstances, as well as educa- 
tion, set an higher value on physical than mental endowments, 
and on skill in hunting, and bravery in war, than any polite 
accomplishment or the fine arts. 

Many of the sports of the early settlers of this country, 
were imitative of the exercises and stratagems of hunting and 
war. Boys were taught the use of the bow and arrow at an 
early age; but although they acquired considerable adroitness 
in the use of them, so as to kill a bird or squirrel, yet it 

17T3.] SPORTS. 103 

appears to me that in the hands of the white people, the 
bow and arrow could never be depended upon for warfare or 
hunting, unless made and managed in a different manner from 
any specimen which I have ever seen. 

One important pastime of our boys, was that of imitating 
the noise of every bird and beast in the woods. This faculty 
was not merely a pastime ; but a very necessary part of edu- 
cation, on account of its utility under certain circumstances. 
Imitating the gobbling and other sounds of the wild turkey, 
often brought those keen-eyed and ever watchful tenants of 
the forest, within the reach of the rifle. The bleating of the 
fawn brought its dam to her death in the same way. The 
hunter often collected a company of mopish owls to the trees 
about his camp, and amused himself with their hoarse scream- 
ing. His howl would raise and obtain responses from a pack 
of wolves, so as to inform him of their whereabouts as well to 
guard him against their depredation. 

This imitative faculty was sometimes requisite as a measure 
of precaution in war. The Indians, when scattered about in 
a neighborhood, often collected together by imitating turkeys 
by day and wolves or owls by night. In similar situations our 
people did the same. I have often witnessed the consterna- 
tion of a whole neighborhood in consequence of the screeching 
of owls. An early and correct use of this imitative faculty, 
was considered as an indication that its possessor would 
become in due time a good hunter and a valiant warrior. 

Throwing the tomahawk was another boyish sport, in which 
many acquired considerable skill. The tomahawk, with its 
handle of a certain length, will make a given number of 
turns within a certain distance ; say in five steps, it will 
strike with the edge, the handle downwards ; at the distance 
of seven and a half, it will strike with the edge, the handle 
upwards ; and so on. A little experience enabled the boy to 
measure the distance with his eye, when walking through the 
woods, and strike a tree with his tomahawk in any way he 

The athletic sports of running, jumping, and wrestling, 
were the pastimes of boys in common with men. 

A well grown boy, at the age of twelve or thirteen years, 
was furnished with a small rifle and shot pouch. He then 
became a fort soldier, and had his port hole assigned him. 
Hunting squirrels, turkeys and racoons soon made him expert 
in the use of his gun. 

Dramatic narrations, chiefly concerning Jack and the 


Giant, furnished our young people with another source of 
amusement during their leisure hours. Many of those tales 
were lengthy, and embraced a considerable range of incident. 
— Jack, always the hero of the story, after encountering 
many difficulties, and performing many great achievements, 
came off conqueror of the Giant. — Many of these stories were 
tales of knight errantry, in which some captive virgin was 
released from captivity and restored to her lover. 

These dramatic narrations concerning Jack and the Giant, 
bore a strong resemblance to the poems of Ossian, the story 
of the Cyclops and Ulysses in the Odyssy of Homer, and 
the tale of the Giant and Greatheart in the Pilgrim's Pro- 
gress ; they were so arranged, as to the different incidents of 
the narration, that they were easily committed to memory. 
They certainly have been handed down from generation to 
generation, from time immemorial. 

Civilization has, indeed, banished the use of those ancient 
tales of romantic heroism ; but what then ? it has substituted 
in their place the novel and romance. 

Singing was another but not very common amusement 
among our first settlers. Their tunes were rude enough to be 
sure. Robin Hood furnished a number of our songs ; the 
balance were mostly tragical. These last were denominated 
" love songs about murder." As to cards, dice, backgam- 
mon and other games of chance, we knew nothing about them. 
These are amongst the blessed gifts of civilization. 

We have drawn upon the abundant store of our earlier 
laborer in this interesting field, more fully than was first in- 
tended. As it is important, however, that the present genera- 
tion should know exactly how their progenitors lived in the days 
that tried men's souls, and as the information given will con- 
stitute an interesting feature in the pages of our work, we 
therefore feel justified in extracting as freely as we have done. 
It would be in vain for a writer of the present day to attempt 
a description of the manners, customs, habits, &c., of the 
early settlers. None but one who had lived among them, 
shared with their wants and suffered with their privations, 
could accurately describe the varied and peculiar life of the old 
pioneer. We have every reason to believe that the account of 
Dr. Doddridge is in the main correct, and cannot doubt it 
will be highly interesting to most of our readers. 





In order to impart to the events of the next nine years 
something of a distinctive character, we have prefixed the 
name by which that fierce and sanguinary struggle (tlie war 
of 1754 — 63) was known at the time. We desire, however, in 
the premises, to protest against the association — French and 
Indian, as it is clearly a misnomer. That was emphatically 
a war between France and England, in which the Indians 
were employed as allies. 

The success of the French at the forks, and their triumph 
on the mountains, greatly chagrined the governor of Virginia, 
and moved the British crown to renewed and increased efforts 
for establishing their claim to the region of the Ohio. The 
Virginia Assembly having refused to vote men and means 
for carrying on the war, it remained with the parent govern- 
ment to adopt such measures as might ensure success. With 
as little delay as practicable, it was determined to send to 
America a force sufficient to repell the "invaders." Two 
regiments of foot, commanded by Cols. Dunbar and Halket, 
were ordered to Virginia, and 10,000 pounds in specie sent to 
Governor Dinwiddie to defray the expenses of the war. 

106 braddock's army [Chap. I. 

In addition to the force just named, orders were sent to 
Governor Shirley and Sir William Pepperell to raise two 
regiments in Massachusetts and other northern states. 

On the 20th of February, 1755, Major-general Edward 
r-irjrr -i Braddoct, to whom had been given the command, 
reached Alexandria with the two regiments of Dun- 
bar and Halket. 

With the instructions to Governor Dinwiddie, came orders 
to place the colonial militia on the footing of independent 
companies. The effect of this was to cut down the commis- 
sion of Washington to a captaincy, which he indignantly re- 
fused to receive, and forthwith resigned. Braddock, however, 
had heard enough of the gallant Virginian to make his 
services an object worth securing, and so tendered him the 
place of an aid in his staff. This Washington accepted, and 
an order announcing the appointment, was made to the army 
at fort Cumberland,^ May 10th. 

On the 20th of April, the whole force, embracing about 
twenty-five hundred men, moved from Alexandria, and in due 
time reached Wills creek, where a fort had been erected by 
Colonel Innes,^ and named Qumhei land in honor of the dis- 
tinguished duke. Here the army was unfortunately delayed 
for near a month, by the Virginia contractors failing to fur- 
nish the required number of horses and wagons. At length, 
through the efforts and personal influence of Franklin, then 
Postmaster-general of the colonies,^ they were supplied by 
some Pennsylvania farmers. But this was only the commence- 
p-j- -| ment of their difficulties. The mountain wilderness 
presented obstacles that for a time seemed to defy 
the energy and capacity of the European general. During 

1 Washington's Letters, Sparks, ii. 69-76. 

2 This fort had been commenced by Col. Innes, in 1754, just after the 
surrender of Fort Necessity. It mounted ten four-pounders, with several 
small swivels, and was favorably situated to keep the hostile Indians in 
check. Col. Innes had command of two independent companies from New 
York and South Carolina. 

2 Sparks' Washington, ii. 62. 

1755.] ON THE MOUNTAINS. 107 

the first three days march, the army advanced but nine miles. 
In many places they were compelled to double their teams in 
front, and often, in climbing the mountain sides, their line was 
extended to four miles in length. 

On the seventh day, they had reached the Little Meadows, 
where Washington advised that the heavy artillery should be 
left, together with the wagons, and that the baggage, &c., be 
taken on pack horses. To this suggestion Brad dock at last 
reluctantly assented. Twelve hundred men, with twelve 
pieces of cannon, were chosen as the advanced corps. This 
was headed by Braddock in person, assisted by Sir Peter Hal- 
ket as Brigadier-general, Cols. Gage and Burton, and Major 
Sparks. Washington, who was too ill to travel, was left with 
Colonel Dunbar and the balance of the army. 

On the 8th of July, after a march of nineteen days, which 
could have been accomplished in nine, had it not been for the 
"fastidiousness and presumption of the commander-in-chief," 
who, instead of pushing on with vigor, " halted to level every 
mole-hill and bridge every rivulet," the division reached a 
point near the mouth of Crooked run and the Monongahela.-^ 
On the morning of the 9th, Colonel Washington rejoined the 
division under Braddock,^ whom he found in high spirits, and 
firm in the conviction, that within a few hours "he would 
victoriously enter the walls of Fort Du Quesne." 

The men were in fine discipline, and as the noontide sun of 
mid-summer fell upon their bui-nished arms, and brilliant 

1 As all previous Mstorians haTe giyen an incorrect account of the route 
pursued by Braddock on Ms unfortunate march to the Monongahela, "we 
have had prepared ■«ith much care, a map illustrating the whole. It is from 
a survey by Mr. Atkinson, a well known engineer of Jlaryland. The reader 
will find jMt. A's description, together with a letter from the distinguished 
American historian, Jared Sparks, in note A., end of part IV. We are in- 
debted both for this, as well as a copy of the map, to Mr. Craig of Pittsburg. 

2 "On the 9th of July, I rejoined, in a covered wagon, the advanced divi- 
sion of the army, under the immediate command of the general. I attended 
him on horse-back, though very low and weak." (Washington's letter, 
Sparks, ii. 85.) 

108 braddock's field. [Chap. I. 

uniform, there was displayed one of the finest spectacles, as 
Washington afterwards declared, he had ever beheld.^ Every- 
man was neatly dressed, and marched with as much precision 
as though he had been on parade at Woolwich. The glitter of 
bayonets, and the "flash of warlike steel, contrasted strangely 
with the deep and peaceful verdure of the forest shade." 
On the right of the army, calmly flowed the Monongahela, 
imaging upon its bosom the doomed host ; while, on the left, 
rose up the green old mountain, the sides of which had never 
before echoed to the tramp of soldiery or to the strains of mar- 
tial music. 

"How brilliant that morning, but how melancholy that 

Before proceeding farther, it may be necessary to describe 
the ground now so celebrated as Braddock's field. It is a 
small bottom, embracing but a few acres, bounded on the 
west by the river and on the east by a blufiy bank, through 
which runs a deep ravine, and over which at the time of the 
battle, and for many years afterwards, grew heavy trees, 
matted brambles, vines, grass, etc. Upon this blufl" lay con- 
cealed the Indian and French forces. By one o'clock the 
entire division had crossed the river : Colonel Gates with three 
hundred regulars, followed by another body of two hundred, 
led the advance. The commander-in-chief, supported by the 
main column of the army, next crossed. The whole of the 
advance party remained on the bottom until the rest of the 
division crossed, and herein, we conceive, was the great error. 
Had the three hundred, or five hundred men under Colonel 
Gates, advanced and drawn the enemy's fire, thus giving the 
seven hundred men in reserve an opportunity to rout the foe 
with ball and bayonet, the result of that bloody conflict might 
have been very difi"erent. 

The general having arranged his plans, ordered a move- 
ment of the division under Colonel Gage, while he would 

' Sparks, i. 65. 

1755.] THE BATTLE. 109 

bring up in person, the residue of the army. The gallant 
colonel moved forward with his men, and whilst in the act of 
passing through the ravine already noticed, a deadly and 
terrible fire was opened upon them by an invisible foe. 

To the brave grenadiers, who had stood firm on the plains 
of Europe, amid tempests of cannon balls, cutting down 
whole platoons of their comrades, this new species of war- 
fare was perfectly appalling ; and unable longer to breast the 
girdle of fire which enveloped them, they gave way in con- 
fusion, involving the whole army in distress, dismay and 

In such a dilemma, with hundreds of his men falling at 
every discharge, — his ranks converted into a wild and reckless 
multitude ; unable to rally and too proud to retreat ; Brad- 
dock obstinately refused to allow the provincial troops to 
fight the Indians in their own way,^ but with a madness in- 
comprehensible, did his utmost to form the men into platoons 
and wheel them into close columns. The result was horrible, 
and the sacrifice of life without a parallel at that time, in In- 
dian warfare. The Virginia regiments, unable to keep together, 
spread through the surrounding wood, and by this means did 
all the execution that was effected. Every man fought for 
himself, and rushing to the trees from behind which gleamed 
the flash of the rifle, the brave Virginian often bayoneted the 
savage at his post. This perilous enterprise, however, was 
attended with a terrible sacrifice. Out of three full compa- 
nies, but thirty men were left. Truly has it been said, " they 
behaved like men and died like soldiers." Of Captain 
Poison's company one only escaped. In that of Captain 
Peyronny, every ofiicer from the captain down, was sacrificed. 

1 Washington beseected Braddock to allow him to take three hundred men, 
and fight the Indians after their own fashion ; which proposition so much 
incensed Braddock that he "cursed AYashington, and threatened to run him 
through," adding, " We'll sup to-day in Fort Du Quesne, or elseia h-U !" — 
Watson's Annals, ii. 141. 

110 THE DEFEAT. [ChAP. I. 

Of those engaged in this fearful conflict, and who were so 
fortunate as to escape, were many who afterwards became 
distinguished in the military and civil annals of Virginia. Of 
this number, were the Lewis', Matthews', Grant, Field, etc. 

This appalling seen lasted three hours, during which the 
army stood exposed to the steady fire of a concealed but 
most deadly foe, and men fell on every hand like grass before 
the sweep of the sickle. 

Finally, Braddock, after having five horses killed under him, 
fell mortally wounded, by the avenging hand of an outraged 
American. (See note B., end of Part IV.) At his fall, all 
order gave way, and what remained of that so lately proud 
army, rushed heedlessly into the river, abandoning all to the 
fury of the savages and French. Artillery, ammunition, bag- 
gage, including the camp chest of Braddock, which contained, 
it is said, £75,000 in gold, all fell into the hands of the vic- 
torious enemy. 

The retreating army rushed wildly forward, and did not 
stop until coming up to the rear division. So appalled were the 
latter at the terrible disaster, that the entire a)-my retreated with 
disgraceful precipitancy to Fort Cumberland. This, accord- 
ing to Smollett, " was the most extraordinary victory ever 
obtained, and the farthest flight ever made." 

It was the most disastrous defeat ever sustained by any 
European army in America. Sixty-three oflicers, and seven 
hundred and fourteen privates were killed or dangerously 
wounded.^ There is perhaps, no instance upon record, where 
so great a proportion of officers were killed. Out of the 
eighty-six composing the regiment, but twenty-three escaped 
unhurt. Their brilliant uniform seemed sure marks for the 
deadly aim of the savage. 

On that disastrous day, the military genius of Washington 
shone forth with much of that splendor, which afterwards 
made him so illustrious. Two aids of Braddock had fallen, 

' sparks, i. G7. 

1755.] WASHINGTON. Ill 

and therefore, upon Washington alone devolved the duty of 
distributing orders. " Men were falling thick and fast, yet 
regardless of danger, he spurred on his steed, galloping here 
and there through the field of blood. At length his horse 
sunk under him ; a second was procured, and pressing amid 
the throng, sent his calm and resolute voice among the fright- 
ened ranks, but without avail. A second horse fell beneath 
him, and he leaped to the saddle of a third, while the bullets 
rained like hail stones about him." Four passed through his 
coat, without inflicting the slightest wound, showing clearly, 
that a stronger hand than that of man's protected the body 
at which they had been aimed. An eye-witness says, he ex- 
pected every moment to see him fall, as his duty exposed him 
to the most imminent danger.* An Indian warrior was often 
afterwards heard to say, that Washington was not born to be 
shot, as he had fired seventeen times at his person without 

The courage, energy, bravery and skill displayed by Wash- 
ington on this occasion marked him as possessed of the highest 
order of military talents. Just from a bed of sickness, yet 
forgetting his infirmities, he pushed through the panic-stricken 
crowd, and his bright sword could be seen pointing in every 
direction as he distributed the orders of his commander. 

At last, when 

" Hapless Braddock met his destined fall," 

the noble Virginia aid, with his provincial troops, who had 
been held in so much contempt by the haughty and presump- 
tuous general, covered the retreat, and saved the remnant of 
the army from annihilation. 

At the fall of Braddock, Washington, with Capt. Stuart 
of the Virginia Guards, hastened to his relief, and bore him 

' Marshal's Washington, ii. 19. 

2 G. W. P. Custis, a relative of Washington, has dramatized this incident 
He calls it the " Indian Prophecy." 


from the field of his inglorious defeat, in the sash which had 
decorated his person. (See note C, conclusion of Part IV.) 

Braddock was taken to Dunbar's camp, on the summit of 
Laurel Hill, where he breathed his last, on the 
L -I evening of the fourth day after the battle. His 

body was interred in the center of the road, and the entire 
army marched over the spot in order that the remains of the 
unfortunate general might not be desecrated by savage hands. ^ 

Tradition still designates the place of his burial. It is about 
nine miles east of Uniontown, and one hundred yards north 
of the National road. 

The only words General Braddock was heard to utter after 
his fall were, "Is it possible — all is over !"^ What a volume 
of agony did those simple words express. Alas, such is 
glorious war ! 

General Braddock was a man of undoubted bravery, but 
imprudent, arrogant, headstrong and austere. He was a rigid 
disciplinarian, and could manoeuvre twenty thousand men on 
the plains of Europe equal to any officer of his age ; but 
was perhaps the worst man the British government could have 
selected for leading an army against the savages of America. 
The Walpole Letters, in speaking of him, say he had been 
Governor of Gibraltar ; that he was poor and prodigal as well 
as brutal — " a very Iroquois in disposition." Also, that he 
had been engaged in a duel with Mr. Gamley, and an amour 
with Mrs. Upton. 

Before leaving England, the Duke of Cumberland warned 
him against surprise from the savages.^ Dr. Franklin also 
had a conversation with him in Virginia, and strongly advised 
him to guard against ambuscades, at the same time acquainting 

' Many years since, the remains of General Braddock were removed to 
England, and now rest with the quiet sleepers in Westminster Abbey. 

2 It has been asserted, that just before expiring, he faintly articulated, 
" We shall know better how to deal with them another time." This we give 
as we find it, but regard the statement as very apochryphal. 

» Smollett. 


him with the mode of warfare peculiar to the Indians. Braddock 
treated it all as no obstacle, talked of making short work of 
it, swore he could take Fort Du Quesne in a day, then proceed 
up the Alleghany, and destroy all the French posts between 
the Ohio and Canada, &c. &c. It was this spirit of arro- 
gance, hauteur and overweening confidence, that brought about 
his disastrous defeat on the Monongahela. Had he taken the 
advice of Washington, Franklin, or Sir Peter Halket, and 
guarded against surprise, his name might not have gone down 
to posterity connected with the most inglorious defeat in the 
annals of modern warfare, and his bones not have filled a 
mountain grave in the unbroken solitudes of America. 

Thus ended the expedition of General Braddock, certainly 
one of the most unfortunate ever undertaken in the west. 

After the retreat of the army, the savages, unwilling to 
follow the French in pursuit, fell upon the field, and preyed 
on the rich plunder which lay before them. The wounded 
and slain were robbed of everything, and the naked bodies 
left a prey to the fierce beasts of the wood.-" In 1758, after 
Gen. Forbes had taken Fort Du Quesne, it was resolved to 
search up the remains of Braddock's army, and bury the 
bones. This was partly carried out at the time, but many 
years afterwards, (June, 1781,) a second and more success- 
ful attempt was made. George Boush, John Barr and John 
Rhodenhamer, engaged as scouts, gathered and carted several 
loads of human bones, and deposited them in a hole dug for 
the purpose. Our informant, who was one of the party, says 
the place of sepulture was directly on the battle-field. 

Although nearly one hundred years have elapsed since that 
memorable day, still the plough of the husbandman occasion- 
ally turns up some relic of melancholy interest. During the 

• It is said that for some time after Braddock's defeat, the bears, having 
feasted on the slain, thought they had a right to kill and eat every human 
being with whom they met. Doddridge's Notes, 21. 



[Chap. I. 

past summer, (1850,) the workmen engaged in grading the 
track for a railroad, threw up numerous bones, bullets, and 
other relics of that melancholy aifair. 

The number of French and Indians actually engaged has 
never been fully ascertained, but variously estimated at from 
four to eight hundred.-^ 

1 Col. James Smith, who was a captive at the time in Fort Du Quesne, says, 
the number did not much exceed four hundred. 





The disastrous termination of Braddock's campaign was 
the means of inflaming the passions of the savages, and ex- 
citing them to deeds of blood, the very contemplation of 
which cannot fail to thrill us with horror. They pushed across 
the mountains into the unprotected settlements of Virginia 
and Pennsylvania, spreading terror, dismay and death 
wherever they went. Men, women and children were tor- 
tured and murdered in the most barbarous and brutal man- 
ner, their property destroyed, and improvements laid waste. 
All who could, fled across the Blue ridge, but many of 
course, there were, who could not get away, and these were 
compelled to stay and endure the dread, and often the horrid 
reality of savage cruelty. Intense fear pervaded the whole 
frontier settlements, from the Susquehanna to the Holston. 
The very name of an Indian struck terror into the hearts of 
the defenceless settlers. 

Washington, in April, 1756, wrote as follows from Win- 
chester : " The Blue ridge is now our frontier, no 
men being left in this county (Frederick) except a ^ '-' 
few, who keep close with a number of women and children 
in forts. . . . The supplicating tears of the women, and 
moving petitions of the men melt me with such deadly sor- 
row that I solemnly declare, if I know my own mind, I could 
offer myself a willing sacrifice to the butchering enemy, 
provided that would contribute to the people's ease." 

Washington recommended to the Assembly that an expe- 
dition be fitted out against Fort Du Quesne, as it would be 
utter folly to strike against the marauding bands of Indians, 

116 WILLIAM PITT. [Chap. II. 

so long as the French were permitted to hold their position 
at the head of the Ohio. 

Notwithstanding the terrible defeat sustained by the British 
arms in America, no open declaration of war was made until 
May, 1756. During the early part of that year, however, 
both nations had been busy in forming alliances — France 
with Austria, Russia and Sweden ; and England with 
Frederick the Great. Now commenced that long and 
bloody struggle known as the Seven Years' War, wherein 
most of Europe, North America, the East and West Indies 
partook and suffered. 

Notwithstanding the warlike attitude of England, nothing 
was done to annoy the French or to check the depredations 
of the savages, until a change of ministry ; and the master- 
mind of William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, assumed control of 
the government. Endowed with a high order of intellect — 
eloquent, profound and patriotic — it seemed as though the 
" Heavens began to brighten and the storm to lose its power" 
the moment his mighty hand laid hold of the helm of state. 
He seemed to possess in an eminent degree the full confidence 
of the nation, and the command of all its resources. 

His plans of operation were grand, his policy bold, liberal 
and enlightened, all which seemed greatly to animate the 
colonists and inspire them with renewed hopes. They re- 
solved to make every effort and sacrifice which the occasion 
might require. A circular from the premier assured the 
colonial governments that he was determined to repair past 
losses, and would immediately send to America a force suffi- 
cient to accomplish the purpose. He called upon the different 
governments to raise as many men as possible, promising to 
send over all the necessary munitions of war, and pledging 
himself to pay liberally all soldiers who enlisted. 

Virginia equipped sixteen hundred men and sent them into 
the field under Col. Washington. Massachusetts, Connecticut, 
New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, &c., also contributed large 
quotas. Three expeditions were determined upon, and the 


most active measures taken to bring them to the field. The 
first was to be against Louisbourg, the second against Ticon- 
deroga and Crown Point, and the third against Fort Du 

The first of these, consisting of 14,000 men, twenty ships 
of the line, and eighteen frigates, succeeded ; the second, em- 
bracing 16,000 men, utterly failed ; and of the third, we will 
now speak more in detail. 

The western expedition was placed under the command of 
General John Forbes, an ofiicer of great skill, energy and 
resolution. His army consisted of nearly nine thousand men, 
embracing British regulars and provincials from Yirginia, 
North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the lower coun- 
ties of Delaware. The Virginia, North Carolina and Mary- 
land troops were ordered to rendezvous at Winchester, Col. 
Bouquet with the Pennsylvanians assembled at Baystown, now 
Bedford, while the commander-in-chief, with the British regu- 
lars, marched from Philadelphia to eifect a junction with the 
Pennsylvania troops at Raystown. In consequence, however, 
of severe indisposition, Gen. Forbes did not get farther than 
Carlisle, when he was compelled to stop. He marched to 
Bedford about the middle of September,^ (1758,) where he 

' In the narrative of Jolin Ormsby, a private in this expedition, it is stated 
thatGenl. Forbes was so ill during the march, that "Ae tvas carried on a litter 
the whole distance from Philadelphia (to Fort Du Quesne), and back." This 
is most extraordinary, and proves him to have been not only a man with a 
"head of iron," as his soldiers called him, but with nerves of steel ! Whilst 
upon this subject, we may as well give an anecdote, told of some Indian 
chiefs, who came to the army on an embassy, and who, observing from this 
close litter came all commands, asked the reason. The British officers, 
thinking the savages would despise their general, if told he was sick, 
were at first puzzled to know what answer to make ; but in a moment one of 
them spoke out, that in that litter was their general, who was so fierce and 
strong, that he felt it necessary to bind himself hand and foot, and lie still 
until he came to the enemy's country, lest he should do the ambassadors or 
even his own men, a mischief. The Red men gave their accustomed grunt, 
and placed some miles of forest between themselves and this fierce chieftain, 
with as little delay as possible. General Forbes died in Philadelphia, a short 
time after the return of his expedition. 

118 geant's defeat. [Chap. II. 

met the provincial troops under Col. "Washington. A contro- 
versy here arose between Washington and his commander as 
to the route they had better pursue. Washington maintained 
that the road cut by Braddock was the proper one as opposing 
less obstacles, and passing through an abundance of forage. 
Bouquet and the Pennsylvania officers contended for a new 
road direct from Eaystown, and with the latter agreed Gen. 

Without farther parley, the road was cut to Loyal-hanna, a 
distance of forty-five miles, where Col. Bouquet built a fort. 
From this point. Major Grant, with a select body of eight 
hundred men, was sent forward to ascertain the situation of 
afiairs at the forks, and to gain information as to the best 
r^ 90 1 "^^^® °^ attack. During the night of the 20th of 
■-' September, he reached the hill near the junction 
of the two rivers, now known by his name, and at early dawn, 
on the 21st, marched toward the fort, breaking the stillness 
of that autumnal morning with the spirit-stirring reveille. At 
the first drum-tap the gates flew open, and outrushed the 
French and Indians in great numbers. The air was rent with 
the savage war-whoop, and ere the commander had time to 
press his men to the conflict, or even before they could bring 
their guns to bear, the foe were upon them, dealing death at 
every blow. The savages were perfectly furious, and but for 
the French, who interposed to save the prisoners, not one 
perhaps of that ill-fated party would have escaped. 

Major Andrew Lewis, who had been detached with a rear 
guard, hearing the sound of battle, rushed to the relief of the 
suflferers, leaving a guard of fifty Virginians under Captain 
Bullitt to protect the baggage. But this accession of strength 
was insufficient to check the headlong rush of the enemy. 
Both Majors Lewis and Grant were taken prisoners.^ Capt. 

' An incident is related of these officers while on parole at Fort Du Quesne, 
which is so characteristic of the chivalrous Virginian, that we cannot resist 
giving it. Grant, in his despatches, endeavored to throw all the censure on 
Lewis, who, in fact, deserved all the credit. The messenger who had been 


Bullitt, seeing tlie men flying before their bloody pursuers, and 
knowing all was lost, resorted to an expedient which, although 
condemned by some, was the means of saving the remnant of 
the party. Ordering his men to lower their arms. Captain 
Bullitt waited until the savages, who believing the party about 
to surrender, approached within a few steps, when giving the 
signal, a galling and deadly fire was poured upon the foe, fol- 
lowed up by a rush with the bayonet, so suddenly and vigor- 
ously, that the enemy gave way, and retreated in the utmost 
dismay and confusion. This ru%'e, so happily conceived and 
so well executed, was much admired, and the Virginians pub- 
licly complimented by the commander-in-chief.^ 

Collecting what remained of the party he retreated to the 
camp of Col. Bouquet.^ 

On the 1st of November, Gen. Forbes reached Loyal- 
hanna, and with as little delay as possible pushed on toward 
Fort Du Quesne. When within a few miles of the fort, the 
General was chagrined to learn that the French, becoming 
alarmed at the augmented force of the English, and having 
lost most of their Indian allies, determined to abandon their 
position at the forks. Unwilling, however, to leave to their 
successors any thing to rejoice over, they fired all the build- 
ings and placed a slow match to their magazine. The whole 
party then descended the Ohio by water. About midnight, 
as the army of Forbes' lay at Turtle creek, " a tremendous 

sent with the papers to Col. Bouquet, was captured, and the despatches fell 
into the hands of the French commandant. Lewis being present when they 
were opened, beheld with surprise and indignation their contents ; and 
without uttering a word, started in pursuit of Grant, whom he soon found, 
and charging him with the infamous calumny, drew his sword, and called 
upon G. to defend himself. Grant sneeringly refused, when Lewis cursed 
him as a poltroon and a liar, and in the presence of two French officers spit 
in his face. 

• Marshall's Washington, ii, 66. Sparks' do., ii. 313. 

2 As Major Lewis was advancing with his 200 provincials, he met one of 
the Highlanders under Grant, in full flight, and on inquiring of him how the 
battle was going, replied, " We're a' beaten, for I ha' seen Donald Macdon- 
ald up to his hunkers in mud, and a' the sheen of his head." 


explosion was heard from the westward, upon which the old 

general swore that the French magazine was blown up, either 

by accident or design."^ On the 25th of Novem- 
TNov. 25 1 
■- ■ '-' ber, the army took peaceable possession of the 

place : the blackened walls and charred outposts, alone re- 
maining of that once proud fortress. On its ruins rose Fort 
Pitt ; which has long since given way to the leveling hand of 
civilization. Often have we stood upon the few remaining 
stones of these two celebrated structures, and wondered at the 
mutability of man's boasted greatness,^ — the utter littleness 
of all that constitutes the " pride and pomp and circumstance 
of glorious war." 

The beautiful Fleur-de-lis here once opened its folds to the 
admiring gaze of the simple-hearted native ; then came the 
rampant Lion of old England to overawe and subdue ; — him- 
self in turn, to be subdued by the never-sleeping eye of the 
American Eagle ! 

With the fall of Fort Du Quesne, terminated the struggle 
between France and England, in the valley of the Ohio. The 
posts on French creek still remained ; but it was deemed un- 
necessary to proceed against them, as the character of the 
war in the north left very little doubt that the contest would 
soon cease, by the complete overthrow of the French. 

In 1759, Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Niagara and Quebec, 
yielded to the British arms, and on the 8th 
'- ' * '-^ of September of the following year, Mon- 

treal, Detroit, and all of Canada were surrendered by the 
French governor. The treaty of Fontainbleau, in November 
1762, put an end to the war. 

' Ormsby's Narrative. 

2 It was Tauntingly proclaimed at the time Fort Pitt was finished, that it 
was strong enough to secure the British power on the Ohio, to the latest pos- 
terity. — Am. Magazine, Sept. 24, 1789. 

1762.] INDIAN JEALOUSY. 121 



In succeeding to the power, it was unhappily discovered, 
at an early day, that the English had not succeeded to the 
influence of the French over the Indians. Many of the 
northern tribes, embracing the Ottaways, Wyandotts, Chip- 
peways, etc., were strongly attached to the French, and 
greatly deplored their downfall. A celebrated Chippeway 
chief once said in council, in speaking of the French, " They 
came and kissed us, — they called us children and we found 
them fathers; we lived like children in the same lodge." 
With feelings like these, it may readily be imagined, how the 
Red men received the success of the English. 

One month precisely, after the surrender of Canada, a 
British officer (Major Rodgers) reached Erie on his way to take 
possession of Detroit. Near the latter place, lived a dis- 
tinguished Ottoway chief, Pontiac, who had resolved to resist 
the English, and when Rodgers demanded a surrender of that 
post, the native warrior canfe forward and demanded how he 
dared to enter the Indian country. 

Rodgers evasively answered, that he had not come to take 
the country, but only to take the place of the French, and 
open up the channels of trade. 

This reply, with some manifestations of friendship, conci- 
liated the chieftain, and the officer was permitted to pas's on. 

Causes, whether real or imaginary, and not now necessary tC» 
particularize, soon disturbed the good feeling between the Otto- 
way chief and his English neighbors. He questioned their mo- 

122 PONTIAC. [Chap. III. 

tives, doubted their friendship, and openly declared that they 
had "treated him with neglect." These, always sufficient to ex- 
cite the ire of an Indian, were not long in showing their effect 
upon Pontiac.^ With him to resolve was to do ; and in his 
heart he determined to exterminate the new incumbents. 
Having perfected his plans he broke it to his people, by de- 
claring that the Great Spirit had appeared to him and said, 
" Why do you suffer these dogs in red coats to enter your 
country and take the lands I gave you ? drive them from it, 
and when you are in distress I will help you." His hosts 
were accordingly marshaled, his plans of operation laid open 
to them, and at a concerted signal every English post save 
three, in the great valley of the west, — the gain of many 
years hard fighting, and at a sacrifice of blood and treasure 
scarcely to be comprehended, fell before the skill and cun- 
ning of this distinguished warrior. 

In the brief period of fifteen days from the time the first 
blow was struck, Pontiac was in full possession of nine out of 
the twelve posts so recently belonging the English.^ His 

1 We regret that want of room prevents us giving a general notice of this 
remarkable chieftain. But few of his race have ever been more distinguished 
for bravery, skill, cunning and address. Pontiac has left a name through- 
out the whole north-west, that can never be forgotten. He possessed the 
power of swaying with his eloquence, most of the native tribes by whom he 
was surrounded. By his power of oratory he could bend them to his pur- 
poses, or through the potency of dreams, command them to engage in the 
most hazardous undertakings. His influence was felt and acknowledged 
thi'oughout the entire north and west. * 

2 The surprise of Mackinaw is unsurpassed for ingenuity and skill, in the 
annals of modern warfare. We copy the description from Genl. Cass, whick 
cannot but be interesting to all our readers. 

" The Ottaways, to whom the assault was committed, prepared for a 
great game of ball, to which the British officers were invited. While en- 
gaged in play, one of the parties inclined towards the fort, and the others 
pressed after them : the ball was once or twice thrown over the pickets, and 
the Indians were suffered to enter and procure it. Almost all of the garri- 
son were present as spectators, and those upon duty were negligent and 
unprepared. Suddenly the ball was again thrown into the fort, and all the 
Indians rushed after it. ' The residue of the tale,' says Genl. Cass, ' is soon 

1763.] bouquet's expedition. 123 

fearful threat, too, of extermination, was almost literally car- 
ried out. Over two hundred traders with their servants fell 
beneath his remorseless power, and goods estimated at over 
half a million of dollars became the spoils of the confederated 

The attack on Detroit was led by Pontiac in person, but 
failed through the treachery of a squaw. Forts Pitt and 
Niagara were the other two that escaped. 

Although unsuccessful against Fort Pitt, many depreda- 
tions were committed in its vicinity. Families were murdered, 
houses burned, crops destroyed, and many similar outrages 

Gen. Amherst, hearing that the fort held out, despatched 
Col. Bouquet, at the head of a sufficient force, to its relief. 
At Fort Ligonier, he determined to leave the wagons, and 
proceed on pack-horses. But his progress had been closely 
watched and faithfully reported to the Indian army that lay 
in ambush waiting his approach. Bouquet, however, was a 
prudent and brave man, and with the terrible lesson of Brad- 
dock before him, moved with great caution, and only in the 
track of experienced scouts. His vigilant spies soon reported 
the presence of Indians, but the gallant colonel kept his men 
ready for any emergency. His position, however, was be- 
coming critical ; before him lay a long and dangerous defile, 
surrounded by high hills and covered with dense wood. Fear- 
ing an ambuscade at this point, the colonel moved slowly, and 
ordered every man to be ready for an attack. The army 
had nearly approached this defile, when, quick as thought, a 
most violent descent was made upon his advanced guard by a 
large body of Indians. The enemy were met by a steady 
and well-directed fire, and the main army, hurrying up to the 
support of the guard, the savages were beaten back, and even 
pursued into their retreats along the hill-sides. But they 

told. The troops were butchered, and the fort destroyed.' The number 
murdered was over seventy ; twenty were taken prisoners, and afterwards 
ransomed at a great price." 


soon rallied, and again and again fell upon the little army, 
so as to prevent its progress, and of course greatly annoy it. 
Finally, the savages completely surrounded their intended 
victims, cutting them off from all supplies of water, &c., and 
causing their chances to look hopeless in the extreme. Now 
it was that Bouquet's fine military genius suggested a move- 
ment which saved them all, perhaps, from utter defeat, if not 

He posted his troops on an eminence, forming a circle 
around their convoy. This arrangement had been effected 
during the night, and early on the following morning he 
Ordered the two companies occupying the most advanced situ- 
ations to fall within the circle. The troops on the right and 
left immediately opened their files and filled up the vacancy 
as though they were endeavoring to cover the retreat of the 
others. Another company of infantry and one of grenadiers 
were ordered to lie in ambuscade to support the two first 
mentioned companies, who moved on the feigned retreat, and 
who were directed to commence the attack. The stratagem 
was admirably arranged, and most successfully executed. 

The Indians, thinking the whites were retreating, rushed 
from the woods in great numbers, making a most furious on- 
slaught against their enemy. At the very moment they be- 
lieved themselves victorious, the two companies made a sudden 
turn from the rear of a hill which had concealed them from 
the savages, and rushing fiercely upon the enemy's right flank, 
completely routed them, and drove them from the field with 
great slaughter. The Indians lost about sixty men, including 
many of their best warriors, besides many wounded. The 
English loss, in killed and wounded, was over one hundred. 

Thwarted in their attempts to cut off this reinforcement, 
the savages retreated toward their own country, wholly aban- 
doning their designs against Fort Pitt. Without further 
interruption the gallant colonel made his way to the forks. 

Unable to pursue the enemy into their own country, and 
take advantage of the victory obtained over them. Colonel 

1763.] braddock's route. 125 

Bouquet had to content himself with supplying Fort Pitt and 
other points with provisions, ammunition, &c. &c. 

Such was the campaign of 1763, and its happy termina- 

NOTE A.— Braddock's Route. 

The following is an extract of a letter from the distinguished historian, 
•Tared Sparks, in reference to the march of Genl. Braddock to the west, in 
1755. It bears date, Salem, Mass., Feb. 18, 1847. * * * 

Having therefore examined with care the details of Braddock's expedition, 
I am persuaded that the following, as far as it goes, is a correct account 
of his march from Gist's plantation. 

On the 30th of June the army forded the Youghiogheny, at Stewart's 
crossings, and then passed a rough road over a mountain. A few miles 
onward they came to a great swamp, which detained them part of a day in 
clearing a road. They next advanced to Salt Lick creek, now called Jacob's 
creek, where a council of war was held, on the 3d of July, to consider a 
suggestion of Sir John St. Clair, that Col. Dunbar's detachment should be 
ordered to join the main body. This proposal was rejected, on the ground 
that Dunbar could not join them in less than thirteen days ; that this would 
cause such a consumption of provisions as to render it necessary to bring 
forward another convoy from Fort Cumberland ; and that in the mean time 
the French might be strengthened by a reinforcement which was daily 
expected at Fort Du Quesne — and moreover, the two divisions could not 
move together after their junction. 

On the 4th the army again marched, and advanced to Turtle creek, about 
twelve miles from its mouth, where they arrived on the 7th inst. I suppose 
this to have been the eastern branch, or what is now called Brush creek, 
and that the place at which they encamped was a short distance northerly 
from the present village of Stewartsville. It was Gen. Braddock's intention 
to cross Turtle creek, and approach Fort Du Quesne on the other side ; but 
the banks were so precipitous, and presented such obstacles to crossing with 
his artillery and heavy baggage, that he hesitated, and Sir John St. Clair 
went out with a party to reconnoitre. On his return before night, he re- 
ported that he had found the ridge which led to Fort Du Quesne, but that 
considerable work woiild be necessary to prepare a road for crossing Turtle 
creek. This route was finally abandoned, and on the 8th the army marched 
eight miles, and encamped not far from the Monongahela, west of the 
Youghiogheny, and near what is called in an old map, " Sugar Run." When 
Braddock reached this place, it was his design to pass through the narrows, 
but he was informed by the guides, who had been sent out to explore, that 
the passage was very difficult, about two miles in length, with a river on the 

126 braddock's route. 

left, and a high mountain on the right, and that much work must he done 
to make it passable for carriages. At the same time he was told that there 
were two good fords across the Monongahela, where the water was shallow, and 
the banks not steep. With these views of the case, he determined to cross 
the fords the next morning. The order of march was given out, and all the 
arrangements were made for an early movement. 

About eight o'clock, on the morning of the 9th, the advanced division 
under Colonel Gage, crossed the ford and pushed forward. After the whole 
army had crossed and marched about a mile, Braddock received a note from 
Col. Gage, giving notice that he had passed the second ford without difficulty. 
A little before two o'clock, the whole army had crossed this ford, and was 
arranged in the order of march, on the plain near Frazier's house. Gage 
with the advanced party was then ordered to march, and while the main 
body was yet standing on the plain, the action began near the river. Not 
a single man of the enemy had before been seen. 

The distance, by the line of march, from Stewart's crossing to Turtle 
creek, or Brush creek, was about thirty miles. At this point the route 
was changed almost to a right angle in marching to the Monongahela. The 
encampment was probably two or three miles from the bank of the river, 
for Col. Gage marched at the break of day, and did not cross the ford till 
eight o'clock. During the whole march from the Great Meadows, the pickets 
and sentinels were frequently assailed by scouting parties of French and 
Indians, and several men were killed. Mr. Gist acted as the general's guide. 
On the 4th of July two Indians went out to reconnoitre the country 
towards Fort Du Quesne ; and Mr. Gist also, on the same day, in a different 
direction. They were gone two days, and all came in sight of the fort, but 
brought back no important intelligence. The Indians contrived to kill and 
scalp a French officer, whom they found shooting within half a mile of the 

The army seldom marched more than sis miles a day, and commonly not 
so much. From Stewart's crossing to Turtle creek, there were six encamp- 
ments. During one day the army halted. * * * 

I am, Sir, respectfully yours, 

Jared Spakks. 
In addition to the foregoing, we will give a few extracts from the account 
of Mr. Atkinson, the engineer who surveyed the route. Mr. A. deserves 
much credit for the zeal he has manifested in this matter, and the faithful 
manner he has traced the route trodden by the unfortunate army. 

On the 8th of of June, Braddock left Fort Cumberland. Scaroodaya, suc- 
cessor to the Half-King of the Senecas, and Monacateotha, whose acquaint- 
ance Washington had made on the Ohio, on his mission to Le Boeuf, with 
about 150 Indians, Senecas and Delawares, accompanied him. George 
Croghan, the Indian agent of Pennsylvania, and a friendly Indian of great 
value, called Susquehanna Jack, were also with him. 

The first brigade under Sir Peter Halket, led the way, and on the 9th, 

braddock's route. 127 

the main body followed. They spent the third night only five miles from the 
first. The place of encampment is marked by a copious spring bearing 
Braddock's name. 

The route continued up Braddock's run to the forks of the stream, where 
Clary's tavern now stands, nine miles from Cumberland, when it turned to the 
left, in order to reach a point on the ridge favorable to an easy descent into 
the valley of George's creek. It is surprising that having reached this high 
ground, the favorable spur by which the National road accomplishes the 
ascent of the Great Savage mountain, did not sti'ike the attention of the en- 
gineers, as the labor necessary to surmount the barrier from the deep valley 
of George's creek, must have contributed greatly to those bitter complaints 
which Braddock made against the Colonial governments for their failure to 
assist him more effectively in the transportation department. 

Passing a mile to the south of Frostburg, the road approaches the east 
foot of Savage mountain, which it crosses about one mile south of the National 
road, and thence by very favorable ground, through the dense forests 
of white pine peculiar to this region, it got to the north of the National 
road, near the gloomy tract called the Shades of Death. This was the 15th 
of June, when the gloom of the summer woods, and the favorable shelter 
which these enormous pines would give an Indian enemy, must have made a 
most sensible impression on the minds of all, of the insecurity of their mode 
of advance. 

This, doubtless, had its share in causing the council of war held at the 
Little Meadows' the next day. To this place, distant only about twenty 
miles from Cumberland, Sir John St. Clair and Major Chapman had been 
dispatched on the 27th of May to build a fort. 

The conclusion of the council was to push on with a picked force of 1200 
men, and 12 pieces of canon, and the line of march, now more compact, was 
resumed on the 19th. Passing over ground to the south of the Little Cross- 
ings, and of the village of Grantsville, which it skirted, the army spent the 
night of the 21st at the Bear Camp, a locality I have not been able to iden- 
tify, but suppose it to be about midway to the Great crossings, which it 
reached on the 23d. The route thence to the Great Meadows or Fort Neces- 
sity, was well chosen, though over a mountainous tract, conforming very 
nearly to the ground now occupied by the National road, and keeping on 
the dividing ridge between the waters flowing into the Youghiogheny on the 
one hand, and the Cheat river on the other. Having crossed the Youghio- 
gheny, we are now on the classic ground of Washington's early career, 
where the skirmish with Jumonville, and Fort Necessity, indicate the coun- 
try laid open for them in the previous year. About one mile west of the 
Great Meadows, and near the spot now marked as Braddock's grave, the 

• This interesting locality lies at the foot of Meadow mountain. Half a 
mile from the hotel of Mr. Huddleson, are the remains of a rude encamp- 
ment, the only vestige of the fort built by order of Braddock. 


road struck off more to the north-west, in order to reach a pass through 
Laurel Hill, that would enable them to strike the Youghiogheny, at a point 
afterwards known as Stewart's crossings, and about half a mile below the 
present town of Connolsville. This part of the route is marked by the farm 
known as Mount Braddock. This second crossing of the Youghiogheny was 
eflfected on the 30th of June. The high grounds interyening between the 
riyer and Jacob's creek, though trivial in comparison with what they had 
already passed, it may be supposed, presented serious obstacles to the 
troops, worn out with previous exertions. From the crossing of Jacob's 
creek, which was at the point where Welchhanse's mill now stands, about a 
mile and a half below Mount Pleasant, the route stretched off to the north, 
crossing the Mount Pleasant tiu'npike near the village of that name, and 
thence, by a more westerly course, passing the great Sewickley near Painter's 
Salt Works, thence south and west of the post office of Madison and Jackson- 
ville, it reached the brush fork of Turtle creek. 

The approach to the river was now down the valley of Crooked run, to 
its mouth, where the point of fording is still manifest, from a deep notch in 
the west bank, though rendered somewhat obscure by the improved naviga- 
gation of the river. The advance, under Col. Gage, crossed about eight o'clock, 
and continued by the foot of the hill bordering the river bottom to the second 
fording, which he had effected nearly as soon as the rear had got thi'ough 
the first. 

The second and last fording, near the mouth of Turtle creek, was in full 
view of the enemy's position, and about one mile distant. By one o'clock the 
whole army had gained the right bank, and was drawn up on the bottom 
land, near Frazier's house, and about three-fourths of a mile from the 


In the ranks of Braddock were two brothers, Joseph and Thomas Fausett, 
or Fawcett ; the first a commissioned, and the latter a non-commissioned 
ofacer. One of them, (" Tom Fausett,") the Hon. Andrew Stewart of Union- 
town, says he knew very well, and often conversed with him about early 
times. " He did not hesitate to own, in the presence of his friends, that he 
shot Braddock." The cii'cumstances, perhaps, were briefly these. Regard- 
less of Genl. Braddock's positive and foolish orders that the troops should 
not protect themselves behind trees, Joseph Fausett had so posted himself, 
which Braddock discovering, rode up, and struck him down with his sword, 
Tom Fausett, who stood but a short distance from his brother, saw the whole 
transaction, and immediately drew up his rifle, and shot him through the body. 
This, as he afterwards said, was partly out of revenge for B.'s assault upon 
his brother, and partly to get the- general out of the way, and thus save the 
remnant of the army. 


In addition to the above, we may give the statement of a correspondent of 
the National Intelligencer, who seems to have been familiar with the facts. 
' ' When my father was removing with his fanuly to the West, one of the Fansett's 
kept a public-house to the eastward from, and near where Uniontown now 
stands. This man's house we lodged in about the 10th of October, 1781, — 
twenty-sis years, and a few months after Braddock's defeat ; and then it 
was made anything but a secret, that one of the family dealt the death-blow 
to the British general. Thirteen years afterwards, I met Thomas Fausett, 
then, as he told me, in his 70th year. To him I put the plain question, and 
received the plain reply, '/ did shoot him.' I never heard the fact doubted 
or blamed, that Fausett killed Braddock." 

Mr. Watson (Annals of the Olden Time, vol. i. pp. 141-2,) says, that in 
1833, he met William Butler, a private in the Pennsylvania Greens at the 
defeat of -Braddock. "I asked him particularly, who killed Braddock ? and 
he answered promptly, one Fausett, brother of one whom Braddock had killed 
in a passion." In 1830, Butler saw Fausett near Carlisle, where he had gone 
on a visit to his daughter. The Millerstovm (Perry county, Pa.,) Gazette, 
of 1830, speaks of Butler being there, and in company with an aged soldier 
in that town, " who had been in Braddock's defeat, and that both concurred 
in saying, that Braddock had been shot by Fausett," 

A Minister of the M. E. Church, writing to the Christian Advocate, says, 
"The old man died at the age of one hundred and fom'teen years, in 1828, 
who kiUed Braddock." The Newburyport Herald of 1842, declares its 
acquaintance with Daniel Adams, an old soldier of that place, aged 82, 
who confirmed the shooting of Braddock by one of his own men. 

"Braddock wore a coat of mail in front, which tiu'ned balls fired in front, 
hut he was shot in the back, and the ball was found stopped in front by the coat 
of mail." The venerable WiUiam Darby of Washington City, has recently 
stated to the author, that during his early days, he never heard it doubted, 
that Fausett had killed Braddock. It seems a generally conceded fact, 
and most of the settlers were disposed to applaud the act. 


The identical sash worn by Braddock at the time of his defeat, and in 
which he was borne from the field bleeding and dying, recently passed into 
the hands of one of America's greatest and most successful generals. 

It appears that the sash referred to, some years since became the pro- 
perty of a gentleman at New Orleans. 

After the brilliant achievement on the Rio Grande in 1846, the owner of 
the relic forwarded it to Genl. Gaines, with a request that it might be pre- 
sented to the officer who most distinguished himself on that occasion. The 
old general promptly sent it by special messenger, to the Commander- 



The person wlio bore it, thus speaks of the presentation and interview. 
" General Taylor took the sash and examined it attentively. It was of un- 
usual size, being quite as large, when extended, as a common hammock. In 
the meshes of the splendid red silk that composed it, was the date of its 
manufacture, ' 1707,' and although it was one hundred and forty years old, 
save where the dark spots, that were stained with the blood of the hero who 
wore it, it glistened as biightly as if it had just come from the loom. 

Upon the unusual size of the sash being noticed, Gen. Worth, who had 
joined the party in the tent, mentioned that such was the old-fashioned style ; 
and that the soldier's sash was intended to carry, if necessary, the wearer 
from off the iield of battle. It was mentioned in the conversation, that after 
Gen. Ripley was wounded at Lundy's Lane, his sash, similar in form, was 
used as a hammock to bear him from the field, and that in it he was carried 
several miles, his body swaying to and fro between the horses, to which the 
ends of the sash were securely fastened. To a wounded soldier, no convey- 
ance could be more grateful, or more appropriate. 

Gen. Taylor broke the silent admiration, by saying he wovild not receive 
the sash. Upon our expressing surprise, he continued, that he did not think 
he should receive presents until the campaign, so far as he was concerned, 
was finished. He elaborated on the impropriety of naming children after 
living men, fearing lest the thus honored might disgrace their namesakes. 
We urged his accej)tance of the present ; and he said, finally, that he would 
put it carefully away in his military chest, and if he thought he desei'ved so 
great a compliment, at the end of the campaign, he would acknowledge the 

The stirring events that have transpired since he made that remark, have 
added the laurels of Monterey to those he then wore ; and the world, as well 
as the donors of that sash, will insist upon his acceptance of it. 

Since writing the above, the old chieftain himself has passed from the 
living to the dead. He died — a singular coincidence, on the anniversary of 
that terrible event — the defeat of Braddock. But a few weeks previous to 
Ms death, the author, then on a visit to Washington, freely conversed with 
the distinguished chieftain upon the very subject about which we have been 
writing. He said, that the sash referred to, was still in his possession, and 
at any time we desired it, would have it shown. Knowing that matters of 
state pressed heavily upon him, we did not ask it at that time ; and thus, 
perhaps, the opportunity has been lost forever; — certainly deprived of 
one of its most interesting features — to be seen in the hands of General 
Taylor. During the interview referred to, he spoke much and frequently 
of Washington's early operations in the west, and inquired whether any 
of the remains of Fort Necessity could be seen. 






The British Government, anxious to secure amicable rela- 
tionship with the Indians, resorted to various modes for effecting 
so desirable an object. Hoping to conciliate by fair words 
and fine promises, one of the first movements was to issue, 
through Col. Bouquet, the following proclamation : 

"pro CLAM AT I ON, 


" Whereas, by a treaty at Easton, in the year 1758, and 
afterwards ratified by his Majesty's ministers, the country to the 
west of the Alleghany mouiitain is allowed to the Indians for 
their hunting ground. . And as it is of the highest importance 
to his Majesty's service, and the preservation of the peace, 
and a good understanding with the Indians, to avoid giving 
them any just cause of complaint : This is therefore to forbid 
any of his Majesty's subjects to settle or hunt to the west of 
the Alleghany mountains, on any pretence whatever, unless 
such have obtained leave in writing from the general, or the 
governors of their respective provinces, and produce the same 
to the commanding officer at Fort Pitt. And all the officers 
and non-commissioned officers, commanding at the several 


posts erected in that part of the country, for the protection 
of the trade, are herehy ordered to seize, or cause to be 
seized, anj of his Majesty's subjects, who, without the above 
authority, should pretend, after the publication hereof, to settle 
or hunt upon the said lands, and send them, with their horses 
and effects, to Fort Pitt, there to be tried and punished ac- 
cording to the nature of their offence, by the sentence of a 
court martial. 

(Signed,) Henry Bouquet." 

In October another and similar proclamation was issued by 
the government ; and in the following spring, to aid 
■- '-' the object in view, it was determined to make two 
movements into the Indian country. General Bradstreet was 
ordered to Lake Erie, and Col. Bouquet in direction of the 
Muskingum. The former moved to Niagara early in the 
summer in company with Sir William Johnson ; and in the 
month of June held a grand council with twenty or more 
tribes, who had sued for peace. On the eighth of August 
they reached Detroit, and about the 20th of the same month 
a definite treaty was made with the Indians. Among the 
provisions of this treaty were the following :^ 

1. All prisoners in the hands of the Indians were to be 
given up. 

2. All claims to the posts and forts of the English in the 
west were to be abandoned ; and leave given to erect such 
other forts as might be needed to protect the traders, &c. 
Around each fort as much land was ceded as a " cannon-shot" . 
would fly over. 

3. If any Indian killed an Englishman he was to be tried 
by English law : the jury one-half Indians. 

4. Six hostages were given by the Indians for the true 
fulfillment of the conditions of the treaty.^ 

' Am. State Papers. 181. 

2 Henry's Narrative (New York edition, 1809,) pp. 185, 186. — Henry was 
with. Bradstreet. — The Annual Register of 1764, (State Papers, p. 181,) says 
the treaty was made at Presque-i'le, (Erie). Mr. Harvey, of Erie, (quoted 
by Day in Historical Collections of Pennsylvania, 314, says the same. 
Others have named the Maumee, where a truce was agreed to, August 6th. 
(See Henry.) There may have been two treaties, one at Detroit with the 
Ottawas, &c., and one at Erie with the Ohio Indians. 


1764.] bouquet's expedition in ohio. 133 

In the meantime, Col. Bouquet collected troops at Fort 
Pitt, and in the fall proceeded with his expedition to the Mus- 
kingum at the point where White Woman's river enters that 
stream. There, on the 9th of November (1764), he concluded 
a peace with the Delawares and Shawanese, and received from 
them two hundred and six prisoners.-^ He also received from 
the Shawanese hostages for the delivery of some captives who 
could not be brought in at that time. These hostages made 
their escape, but the Shawanese, in good faith, restored the 
prisoners to a proper agent. The attachment, to which we 
have elsewhere alluded, as being often formed between the 
white captives and their new associates, was singularly illus- 
trated in this instance. 

West's pencil was made to show the curious fact to which 
we have alluded.^ 

A number of very distinguished chiefs were present on this 
occasion. Of these were Kyashuta, Red Hawk, Custaloga, 
Captain John,^ etc. 

' Of these were, 




Females and children. 





Females and children. 


In all, 206 

2 " Historical Account of the Expedition," &c. Philad., 1766. 
^ The last mentioned of these, was a Shawanese chief, of great courage, 
energy, and sagacity ; possessing unbounded influence with his tribe, but a 
most desperate and blood-thirsty savage. His personal appearance was re- 
markably commanding, being considerably over six feet in height, and well 
proportioned. He was particularly celebrated among his race, for great 
dexterity with the tomahawk. On one occasion, in the fall of 1790, he got 
into a difliculty with a warrior of another tribe. The two agreed to settle 
their difference by a duel. Early on the morning following the difliculty, they 
started for the place of encounter, taking with them knives, tomahawks, &c. 
Arriving on the ground, they cut a notch in a log, and drove down a stake by 
the side, and agreed that when the shadow of the stake should fall into the 
notch, then they were to fight. They sat down on the log, one on each side 
of the notch, and awaited the eventful moment. At length it came ; then, 
like two furies, they arose, waving their tomahawks over their heads, with 


In order to ascertain the true condition and feeling of the 
Western Indians, George Croghan, sub-commissioner to Sir 
William Johnson, went home with the returning deputies of 
the Delawares and Shawanese. His journal presents a very 
interesting account of the state of affairs in the "/ar West" 
at that day, particularly of the French settlements on the 
Wabash and in Illinois. Croghan left Fort Pitt on the 15th 
of May ; by the 6th of June he was at the mouth of the 
Wabash ; and on the 8th was taken prisoner by a party of 
Indians. Upon the 15th he reached Vincennes, which he 
describes as a " village of about eighty or ninety French fami- 
lies." We regret that our limits will not allow us to make 
some extracts from his journal. Croghan discharged the duties 
committed to his care with energy, and to the satisfaction of 
his principal. The information obtained was both valuable 
and important. 

drawn knives, yelling and screaming like fiends. After each had received 
several wounds, Capt. John made a pass with his tomahawk, and stuck it 
into Cushion's skull, who fell dead. 

In 1800, on the Rattlesnake fork of Paint creek, in another drunken 
scrape, he and his squaw fell out and agreed to part. They divided all until 
they came to their little son, about two years old. The mother held fast to 
the child. John jerked it out of her arms, and taking an axe, cut it in two, 
and threw her the half, saying, " If you do not clear out, I will serve you the 
same way." 




Thus stood matters in the west at the close of 1765. With 
the, exception of a few military posts, and an occasional 
pioneer settler, all was an unbroken wilderness between the 
. Alleghanies and the Wabash. The Red man, a few years 
since the undisputed owner of the broad prairies and fertile 
valleys, inherited from his father, now found himself the 
dependent of a foreign power ; and it should therefore, not 
seem strange, if he felt and expressed both fear and hatred of 
the injfiuence which surrounded and oppressed him. 

The Indians had witnessed the silent encroachments of 
England ; and despairing of holding or regaining their lands, 
the most bitter and abiding spirit of hatred and revenge was 
roused within them. They had seen the British coming to 
take their lands upon the strength of treaties they knew 
not of. They had been compelled to receive into their midst 
British agents and troops, who, although promising to protect 
them from settlers, the Indians very well knew would prove 
an empty bond if circumstances required a different line of 

Facts subsequently proved that the apprehensions of the 
Indians were not groundless, and that the pledge given them 
was not in good faith kept by either individuals or the govern- 
ment. As we have noticed elsewhere, settlements were made 
upon lands, to which the Indian title had not been extinguished, 
in the year following the treaty of German Flats ; and although 
Sir William Johnson issued his orders for the removal of 
these settlers, his commands were defied, and the settlers 
remained where they were.^ 

1 See p. 42. 


But not only were the sturdy pioneers passing the line 
tacitly agreed on, Sir William Johnson himself was clearly 
meditating a step which would have produced, had it been 
taken, a general Indian war. 

This was the purchase and settlement of an immense tract 
south of the Ohio river, where an independent colony was to 
be formed. How early this plan was conceived we do not 
learn ; but, from Franklin's letters, we find that it was in con- 
templation in the spring of 1766.^ At this time Franklin 
was in London, and was wi^itten to by his son, Governor 
Franklin, of New Jersey, with regard to the proposed colony. 
The plan seems to have been, to buy of the Six Nations the 
lands south of the Ohio, a purchase which it was not doubted 
Sir William might make, and then to procure from the King 
a grant of as much territory as the company, which it was 
intended to form, would require. Governor Franklin, ac- 
cordingl}'", forwarded to his father an application for a grant, 
together with a letter from Sir William, recommending the 
plan to the ministry ; all of which was duly communicated to 
the proper department. But at that time there were various 
interests bearing upon this plan of Franklin. The old Ohio 
company was still suing, through its agent Colonel George 
Mercer, for a perfection of the original grant. The soldiers 
claiming under Dinwiddle's proclamation had their tales of 
rights and grievances. Individuals, to whom grants had been 
made by Virginia, wished them completed. General Lyman, 
from Connecticut we believe, was soliciting a new grant 
similar to that now asked by Franklin ; and the ministers 
themselves were divided as to the policy and propriety of 
establishing any settlements so far in the interioi", Shelburne 
being in favor of the new colony, Hillsborough opposed to it. 

The company was organized, however, and the nominally 
leading man therein being Mr. Thomas Walpole, a London 
banker of eminence, it was known as the Walpole Company. 
Franklin continued privately to make friends among the 
ministry, and to press upon them the policy of making large 
settlements in the west; and, as the old way of managing 
the Indians by superintendents was just then in bad odor in 
consequence of the expense attending it, the Cabinet Council 
so far approved the new plan as to present it for examination 

1 Sparks' Franklin, vol. iv. p. 233, et seq. 


to the Board of Trade, with members of which Franklin had 
also been privately conversing. 

This was in the autumn of 1767. But before any conclu- 
sion was come to, it was necessary to arrange definitely that 
boundary line, which had been vaguely talked of in 1765, and 
with respect to which Sir William Johnson had written to the 
ministry, who had mislaid his letters, and given him no instruc- 
tions. The necessity of arranging this boundary was also kept 
in mind by the continued and growing irritation of the Indians, 
who found themselves invaded from every side. This irrita- 
tion became so great during the autumn of 1767, that Gage 
wrote to the Governor of Pennsylvania on the subject. The 
Governor communicated his letter to the Assembly on the 5th 
of January, 1768, and representations were at once sent to 
England, expressing the necessity of having the Indian line 
fixed. Franklin, the father, all this time, was urging the 
same necessity upon the ministers in England ; and about 
Christmas of 1767, Sir William's letters on the subject having 
been found, orders were sent him to complete the proposed 
purchase from the Six Nations, and settle all differences. 
But the project for a colony was for the time dropped, a new 
administration coming in which was not that way disposed. 

Sir William Johnson having received, early in the spring, 
the orders from England relative to a new treaty with the In- 
dians, at once took steps to secure a full attendance.^ Notice 
was given to the various colonial governments, to the Six 
Nations, the Delawares, and the Shawanese, and a congress 
was appointed to meet at Fort Stanwix during the following 
October (1768). It met upon the 24th of that month, and 
was attended by representatives from New Jersey, Virginia, 
and Pennsylvania ; by Sir William and his deputies ; by the 
agents of those traders who had suffered in the war of 1763 ; 
and by deputies from all the Six Nations, the Delawares and 
the Shawanese. The first point to be settled was the bound- 
ary line which was to determine the Indian lands of the west 
from that time forward ; and this line the Indians, upon the 
1st of November, stated should begin on the Ohio, at the 
mouth of the Cherokee (or Tennessee) river ; thence go up 
the Ohio and Alleghany to Kittaning ; thence across to the 
Susquehannah, &c. ; whereby the whole country south of 
the Ohio and Alleghany, to which the Six Nations had any 

' For an account of this long-lost treaty, see Plain Facts, pp. 65-104, or 
Butler's Kentucky, 2d edition, pp. 472-488. 


claim, was transferred to tlie British. One deed for a part 
of this land, was made on the 3d of November to William 
Trent, attorney for twenty-two traders, whose goods had been 
destroyed by the Indians in 1763. The tract conveyed by 
this was between the Kanawha and Monongahela, and was by 
the traders named Indiana. Two days afterwards, a deed 
for the remaining western lands was made to the King, and 
the price agreed on paid down.* These deeds were made 
upon the express agreement that no claim should ever be based 
upon previous treaties, those of Lancaster, Logstown, &c. ; and 
they were signed by the chiefs of the Six Nations, for them- 
selves, their allies and dependents, the Shawanese, Delawares, 
Mingoes of Ohio, and others ; but the Shawanese and Dela- 
ware deputies present did not sign them. 

Such was the treaty of Stanwix, whereon, in a great mea- 

' There was also given two deeds of lands in the interior of Pennsylvania, 
one to Croghan, and the other to the proprietaries of that colony. 

Filson (London edition, 1793, p. 10) speaks of two other deeds given by 
the Iroquois at Fort Stanwix, but mentions no year ; one was to Colonel 
Donaldson for the lands from the Kentucky to the Great Kanawha. Col. D. 
ran the line from six miles above Long Island in Holston, to the mouth of 
the Gt. Kanawha, in 1770-1 ; (see post ;) and his deed seems to have been 
after this, from Filson's account. The other deed was to Dr. Walker, and 
Gen. Lewis. (Thomas Walker was commissioner for Virginia at the Stan- 
wix treaty of 1768 — wa§ this Dr. Walker? His name was Thomas. Holmes' 
Annals, ii. 304, note.) Dr. Walker and Col. Lewis, in 1769, were employed 
to convince the superintendent of the southern Indians, Mr. Stewart, that 
the claim of the Iroquois extended to Kentucky. (Butler, 2d edition, 14.) 
Marshall (i. 15) refers to Donaldson's deed, but we find no confirmation of 
Filson's statement that it was given by the Iroquois. (See Butler, 2d edi- 
tion, 14.) We presume the true explanation of the whole matter, is that 
given by Judge Hall, in his Sketches, vol. i. p. 248, which we extract. 

"John Donaldson, the surveyor who traced this line [that from the 
Holsten, from six miles above Big Island, to the Kanhawa, xmder the treaty 
of Lochaber] by an appointment from the president and council of Virginia, 
states, in a manuscript affidavit which we have seen, ' that, in the progress 
of the work, they came to the head of Louisa, now Kentucky river, when 
the Little Carpenter (a Cherokee Chief) observed that his nation delighted 
in having their lands marked out by natural boundaries, and proposed that, 
instead of the line agreed upon at Lochaber as aforesaid, it should break off 
at the head of Louisa river, and run thence to the mouth thereof, and thence 
up the Ohio to the mouth of the great Kanawha.' This boundary was accord- 
ing agreed to by the surveyor. It is further stated, by the same authority, 
' that leave having been granted by the king of Great Britain, to treat with 
the Cherokees for a more extensive boundary than that which had been estab- 
lished at the treaty of Hard Labour, provided the Virginians would be at 
the expense of purchasing the same, the General Assembly voted the sum of 
£2500 sterling for that purpose, which sum was accordingly paid to the 
Cherokees, in consideration, as we presume, of the additional lands gained 
by the alteration of the line by the surveyor, and in confirmation of his act." 


sure, rests the title by purchase to Western Virginia, Penn- 
sylvania, and Kentucky. It was a better foundation, perhaps, 
than that given by previous treaties, but "was essentially worth- 
less ; for the lands conveyed were not occupied or hunted on 
by those conveying them. In truth, we cannot doubt that 
this immense grant was obtained by the influence of Sir Wil- 
liam Johnson, in order that the new colony, of which he was 
to be governor, might be founded there. The fact that such 
a country was ceded voluntarily, — not after a war, not by 
hard persuasion, but at once and willingly, — satisfies us that 
the whole affair had been previously settled with the New 
York savages, and that the Ohio Indians had no voice in the 

But besides the claim of the Iroquois and the north-west 
Indians to Kentucky, it was also claimed by the Cherokees ; 
and it is worthy of remembrance that after the treaty of 
Lochaber, made in October, 1770, two years after the Stan- 
wix treaty recognized a title in the southern Indians to all 
the country west from a line drawn from a point six miles 
east of Big or Long Island, in Holsten river, to the mouth of 
the great Kanawha ;^ although, as we have just stated, their 
right to all the lands north and east of the Kentucky river 
was purchased by Colonel Donaldson, either for the king, 
Virginia, or himself — it is impossible to say which. ^ 

But the grant of the great northern confederacy was made. 
The white man could now quiet his conscience when driving 
the native from his forest home, and feel sure that an army 
would back his pretensions. A new company was at once 
organized in Virginia, called the "Mississippi Company," and 
a petition sent to the King for two millions and a half of acres 
in the west. Among the signers of this were Francis Lightfoot 
Lee, Richard Henry Lee, George Washington, and Arthur Lee. 
The gentleman last named was the agent for the petitioners 
in England. This application was referred to the Board of 
Trade on the 9th of March, 1769, and after that we hear 
nothing of it.^ 

The Board of Trade was, however, again called on to report 
upon the application of the Walpole Company, and Lord 
Hillsborough, the president, reported against it. This called 
out Franklin's celebrated " Ohio Settlement," a paper written 

' Butler, 2d edition. Introduction, 11. 

2 Hall's Sketches, ii. 248. 

3 Plain Facts, p. 69.— Butler's Kentucky, p. 475. 


with SO much ability, that the King's council put by the offi- 
cial report, and granted the petition, a step which mortified 
the noble lord so much that he resigned his official station. •■• 
The petition now needed only the royal sanction, which was 
not given until August 14th, 1772 ; but in 1770, the Ohio 
Compay was merged in Walpole's, and the claims of the 
soldiers of 1756 being acknowledged both by the ncAv com- 
pany and by government, all claims were quieted. Nothing 
was ever done, however, under the grant to Walpole, the 
Revolution soon coming upon America.^ After the Revolu- 
tion, Mr. Walpole and his associates petitioned Congress 
respecting their lands, called by them "Yandalia," but could 
get no help from that body. What was finally done by Vir- 
ginia with the claims of this and other companies, we do not 
find written, but presume their lands were all looked on as 

During the ten years in which Franklin, Pownall, and their 
friends were trying to get the great western land company 
into operation, actual settlers were crossing the mountains all 
too rapidly; for the Ohio Indians "viewed the settlements 
with an uneasy and jealous eye," and "did not scruple to say, 
that they must be compensated for their right, if people settled 
thereon, notwithstanding the cession by the Six Nations."^ 
It has been said, also, that Lord Dunmore, then governor of 
Virginia, authorized surveys and settlements on the western 
lands, notwithstanding the proclamation of 1763; but Mr. 
Sparks gives us a letter from him, in which this is expressly 
denied.'* However, surveyors did go down even to the Falls 
of the Ohio, and the whole region south of the Ohio was 
filling with white men. The futility of the Fort Stanwix treaty, 
and the ignorance or contempt of it by the fierce Shawanese 
are well seen in the meeting between them and Bullitt, one of 
the early emigrants, in 1733.'' Bullitt, on his way down the 
Ohio, stopped, and singly sought the savages at one of their 
towns. He then told them of his proposed settlement, and 
his wish to live at peace with them; and said, that, as they 
had received nothing under the treaty of 1768, it was intended 
to make them presents the next year. The Indians con- 

1 Sparks' Franklin vol. iv. p. 302. 

2 Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. p. 483, et seq. — Plain Facts, p. 149. 

3 Washington's "Journal to the West, in 1770." Sparks' Washington, vol. 
ii. p. 531. 

■» Ibid p. 878. 5 Butler's Kentucky, p. 20. 


sidered the talk of the Long-knife, and the next day agreed 
to his proposed settlement, provided he did not disturb them 
in their hunting south of the Ohio; a provision wholly incon- 
sistent with the Stanwix deed. 

Among the earlier operators in western lands was Washing- 
ton. He had always regarded the proclamation of 1763 as 
a mere temporary expedient to quiet the savages ; and, being 
better acquainted with the value of western lands than most 
of those who could command means, he early began to buy 
beyond the mountains. His agent in selecting lands was the 
unfortunate Col. Crawford, afterwards burnt by the Indians. 
In September, 1767, we find Washington writing to Crawford 
on this subject, and looking forward to the occupation of the 
western territory; in 1770, he crossed the mountains, going 
down the Ohio to the mouth of the great Kanhawa ; and in 
1773 being entitled, under the king's proclamation of 1763, 
(which gave a bounty to officers and soldiers who had served 
in the French war,) to ten thousand acres of land, he became 
deeply interested in the country beyond the mountains, and 
had some correspondence respecting the importation of settlers 
from Europe. Indeed, had not the Revolutionary war been 
just then on the eve of breaking out, Washington would in all 
probability have become the leading settler of the West, and 
all our history, perhaps, have been changed.^ 

But while in England and along the Atlantic, men were 
talking of peopling the west south of the river Ohio, a few 
obscure individuals, unknown to Walpole, to Franklin, and to 
Washington, were taking those steps which actually resulted 
in its settlement.^ 

1 Sparks' Washington, vol. ii. pp. 346-7. He bad patents for 32,373 
acres ; 9157 on the Ohio, between the Kanhawas, with a river front of 13 1-2 
miles; 23,216 acres on the Great Kanhawa, with a river front of 40 miles. 
Besides these lands, be owned fifteen miles below Wheeling, 587 acres, with 
a front of 2 1-2 miles.* He considered the land worth $3 33 per acre. — 
Sparks' Washington, xii. 264, 317. 

2 Western Annals. 

* This was the tract known as the " Round Bottom." He sold it to the late 
Col. Archibald M'Clean, and instead of 587 acres, it was found, by actual 
survey, to be over 1000. 




The Mingoes, Shawanese and other powerful western tribes, 
feeling that they had been slighted in the Stanwix treaty — 
their rights disregarded, their homes invaded, and their hunt- 
ing grounds wrested from them, — showed symptoms of great 
dissatisfaction, which the more observing of the settlers were 
not long in detecting. A deep and bitter feeling was evi- 
dently setting in against the whites; but still, the Indians 
remembered the war of 1763, and the terrible power of 
Britain. The older and wiser of the sufferers seemed rather 
disposed to submit to what seemed inevitable, than throw 
themselves away in a vain effort to withstand the power and 
influence which was exerted against them. Hopeless hatred, 
it will thus be perceived, filled the breasts of the natives at 
the period immediately preceding the war of 1774 ; a hatred 
needing only a few acts of violence to kindle it into rage 
and thirst for human blood. And such acts were not want- 
ing ; in addition to the murder of several single Indians by 
the frontier men, in 1772, five families of the natives on the 
Little Kanawha, were killed, in revenge for the death of a 
white family on Gauley river, although no evidence existed 
to prove who had committed the last-named outrage. And 
when 1774 came, a series of events, of which we can present 
but a faint outline, led to excessive exasperation on both sides. 
Pennsylvania and Virginia laid equal claim to Pittsburgh and 
the adjoining country. In the war of 1754, doubt had existed 
as to which colony the fork of the Ohio was situated in, and 
the Old Dominion having been forward in the defence of the 
contested territory, while her northern neighbor had been 
very backward in doing anything in its favor, the Virginians 

1774.] Connolly's mission. 143 

felt a certain claim upon the " Key of the West." This feel- 
ing showed itself before 1763, and by 1773 appears to have 
attained a very decided character.^ Early in 1774, Lord 
Dimmore, prompted very probably by Colonel Croghan, and 
his nephew, Dr. John Conolly,^ who had lived at Fort Pitt, 
and was an intriguing and ambitious man, determined, by 
strong measures, to assert the claims of Virginia upon Pitts- 
burgh and its vicinity, and despatched Connolly, with a 
captain's commission, and with power to take possession of 
the country upon the Monongahela, in the name of the king. 
He issued his proclamation to the people, in the neighbor- 
hood of Bedstone and Pittsburgh, calling upon them to meet 
upon the 24th and 25th of January, 1774, in order to be 
embodied as Virginia militia. Arthur St. Clair, who then 
represented the proprietors of Pennsylvania in the west, was 
at Pittsburgh at the time, and arrested Connolly before the 
meeting took place. 

Connolly, soon after, was for a short time released by the 
sheriff, upon the promise to return to the law's custody, which 
promise he broke however ; and having collected a band of 
followers, on the 28th of March came again to Pittsburgh, 
still asserting the claim of Virginia to the government. Then 
commenced a series of contests, outrages and complaints, 
which were too extensive and complicated to be described 
within our limited space. The upshot of the matter was this, 

1 Virginia, as early as 1763, expressed a willingness to listen to a propo- 
sition for adjustment on the part of Pennsylvania. 

2 Connolly was a native of Lancaster, Pa. In 1770 Washington met him at 
Pittsburg, and in his journal speaks of him as a "sensible and intelligent" 
man. Connolly was unscrupulous, dangerous, and full of intrigue. From 
the commencement of the Revolution, he was a Tory of the rankest kind. 
And after that, he became troublesome in Kentucky. 

In 1770, (at the time Washington met him,) Connolly proposed a divi- 
sion which would have included aU of the present State of Kentucky, 
between the Cumberland Eiver, a line drawn along its forks, to the falls, 
and the Ohio. Sparks ii. 532. 

In 1774, he patented and sold the ground upon which Louisville now 
stands. (Am. Archives, 4th series.) 


that Connolly, in Lord Dunmore's name, and by his authority, 
took and kept possession of Fort Pitt ; and as it had been dis- 
mantled and nearly destroyed by royal orders, rebuilt it, and 
named it Fort Dunmore.^ 

At the time of issuing his proclamation, he wrote to the 
settlers along the Ohio, that the Shawanese were not to be 
trusted ; that they had declared open hostility to the whites ; 
and he (Connolly) desired all to be in readiness to redress any 
grievances that would occm\ One of these circulars was ad- 
dressed to Captain Michael Cresap, then at or near Wheeling. 

A few days previous to the date of Connolly's letter (April 

r \ „ -in -I 21,) a canoe loaded with goods for the ShawanesO 

[April lb. j '^ ,> -r»- i i 

towns, the property of a Pittsburgh merchant 

named Butler, had been attacked by three Cherokee Indians, 
about sixty miles above, and one of the whites killed. This of 
course caused considerable sensation in the neighborhood of 
Wheeling. The people, too, aroused by the false cry of Con- 
nolly, became greatly excited ; and when, a few days after, it 
was reported that a boat containing Indians was coming down 
the river, a resolution was at once taken to attack them. 

Several men, one of whom it is alleged was Captain Cresap, 
started up the river, and firing upon the canoe, killed two 
Indians, whom they scalped. On the following day^ several 
canoes containing Indians^ were discovered a short distance 

' Western Annals. 

^ The exact date of these occurrences cannot, with certainty, be ascertained. 
Col. Zane says they took place towards the close of April, and that the affair 
at Captina, preceded that at Yellow creek. John Seppington, who was one 
of the party at Baker's, gives the date of the occurrence at that place, May 
24th ; but Col. A. Swearingen, who was familiar with most of the early set- 
tlers, states that the Yellow creek affair took place prior to that at Captina. 
Benjamin Tomlinson, brother-in-law to Baker, says in his deposition, that 
the Baker affair was in May, while Devereaux Smith, in his letter dated 
Pittsburgh, June 10, 1774, says the affair at Wheeling was on the 27th of 
April, and the one at Yellow creek, " about the same time." 

2 These, according to the most reliable accounts, were the Shawanese 
chiefs, invited to council at Fort Pitt, and who were then on their return 

1774.] CAPTAIN CRESAI'. 145 

above the island. Pursuit was immediately given ; and that 
night, while the Indians were encamped near the mouth of 
Captina creek, twenty miles below Wheeling, the whites 
attacked them, killing one and wounding several of the 

These were clearly the exciting causes to the war of 1774. 
It is true, however, as already stated, the magazine was 
charged, and needed but the match to produce instantaneous 
explosion. That match was fired by the murderer's torch 
at Captina and Yellow creek, (presently to be noticed,) and 
dreadful was the effect of that explosion. 

A question of some importance now arises — one which we 
would fain avoid, but which our duty compels us to meet — 
and that is, what part did Captain Cresap take in the outset 
of this war ? Most unfortunately for the memory of a brave 
and chivalrous soldier, his name has become so blended with 
the principal events of this dark page in our history, that it 
seems an almost hopeless task to controvert any of the points 
made by previous writers upon the subject. 

So intimately associated has been Captain Cresap's name 
with these unfortunate and tragical occurrences, that this 
bloody record in our history — the war of 1774, has been, and 
by many still is, styled " Cresap's war." 

Viewing the whole matter with a mind free from bias, or 
if prejudiced at all, confessedly in favor of the arraigned, 
we candidly acknowledge that the evidence before us bears 
strongly against him in the affairs at Wheeling and Captina ; 
but wholly exculpates him from any participation in the dia- 
bolical transaction at Yellow creek. This we think the ex- 
tent of his guilt, in the occurrences which led to the fierce and 
sanguinary conflict between the natives and whites on our 
western border, in the summer and fall of 1774. 

Whilst upon this subject, we may take occasion to state, 
that in our opinion one unfortunate error has been committed 
by most, if not all, of Captain Cresap's friends, and that has 
been, in not stating exactly what he did. It cannot but have 



been known to Mr. Jacob and others, who have set up as the 
special defenders of Captain Cresap, that he did make one of 
the party who killed the two Indians near Wheeling, and also 
that he was engaged in the affair at Captina. Concealment 
of these facts has done irreparable injustice to the memory of 
a brave and gallant soldier. Had they conceded this much, 
but insisted upon his innocence of that other heinous charge, 
most of the calumny now afloat would have been saved, and 
the memory of Captain Cresap not been tarnished by that one 
foul stain, from the mere contemplation of which, civilized 
man turns with an involuntary shudder. This, we conceive, 
has been the fatal error. A uniform denial, for Captain 
Cresap, of all participation in the border outrages of 1774, 
left no alternative with those who knew differently, but to 
believe that he was connected with all. 

Captain Cresap's known and avowed participation^ in the 
affairs at Wheeling and Captina, and the murder of Logan's 
family at Baker's bottom so soon thereafter, very reasonably 
caused many to believe that he did compose one of the latter 


Logan thought so himself; and so asserted, not only in his 
celebrated speech at Camp Charlotte, but also in other oral 
and written declarations.^ 

1 See Devereux Smith's letter, Am. State Papers, -where it is stated that 
Cresap justified his conduct by the character of Connolly's circular. 

2 One of the first prisoners taken by Logan and his party, after this unfor- 
tunate occurrence, was Major Robinson, (see p. 153), whom they carried to 
their towns on the Muskingum. Here Logan requested Robinson to write him a 
note expressive of his feelings, which he intended should be carried and left 
at some house he would attack. This note was addressed to Cresap, and 
was found tied to a war club in the cabin of a settler on the Holston river. 
Major Robinson says he had to write it three times before he could get it 
sufficiently strong to suit Logan's purposes. A copy of the note is herewith 

Captain Cresap: 

What did you kill my people on Yellow creek for ? The white people 
killed my kin at Conestoga, a great while ago, and I thought nothing of 
that. But you killed my kin again on Yellow creek, and took my cousin 
prisoner. Then I thought I must kill too ; and I have been three times to 
war since ; but the Indians are not angry, only myself. 

July 21, 1774. (Signed), Captain John Logan. 


We come now to the last, and by far the most tragic part of 
this drama. Greorge Rogers Clark, one of the most distin- 
guished men of his day in the west, was at Wheeling at the 
time of these occurrences. It is not likely that such a man 
would be mistaken, and we therefore give his statement 
almost entire. It is from a letter written in June, 1798, to a 
friend of Mr. Jefferson, who sought information as to the 
affairs to which it refers. 

This country was explored in 1773. A resolution was 
formed to make a settlement the spring following, and the 
mouth of the Little Kanawha appointed the place of general 
rendezvous, in order to descend the river from thence in a 
body. Early in the spring the Indians had done some mis- 
chief. Reports from their towns were alarming, which 
deterred many. About eighty or ninety men only arrived 
at the appointed rendezvous, where we lay some days. 

A small party of hunters, that lay about ten miles below 
us, were fired upon by the Indians, whom the hunters beat 
back, and returned to camp. This and many other circum- 
stances led us to believe that the Indians were determined on 
war. The whole party was enrolled and determined to execute 
their project of forming a settlement in Kentucky, as we 
had every necessary store that could be thought of. An 
Indian town called the Horsehead Bottom, on the Scioto and 
near its mouth, lay nearly in our way. The determination 
was to cross the country and surprise it. Who was to com- 
mand ? was the question. There were but few among us that 
had experience in Indian warfare, and they were such that 
we did not choose to be commanded by. We knew of Capt. 
Cresap being on the river about fifteen miles above us, with 
some hands, settling a plantation; and that he had concluded 
to follow us to Kentucky as soon as he had fixed there his 
people. We also knew that he had been experienced in a 
former war. He was proposed ; and it was unanimously 
agreed to send for him to command the party. Messengers 
were despatched, and in half an hour returned with Cresap. 
He had heard of our resolution by some of his hunters, that 
had fallen in with ours, and had set out to come to us. 

We now thought our army, as we called it, complete, and 
the destruction of the Indians sure. A council was called, 
and, to our astonishment, our intended commander-in-chief 


was the person who dissuaded us from the enterprise. He 
said that appearances were very suspicious, but there was no 
certainty of a war. That if we made the attempt proposed, 
he had no doubt of our success; but a war would, at any rate, 
be the result, and that we should be blamed for it, and per- 
haps justly. But if we were determined to proceed, he would 
lay aside all considerations, send to his camp for his people, 
and share our fortunes. 

He was then asked what he would advise. His answer 
was, that we should return to Wheeling as a convenient post, 
to hear what was going forward. That a few weeks would 
determine. As it was early in the spring, if we found the 
Indians were not disposed for war, we should have full time 
to return and make our establishment in Kentucky. This was 
adopted ; and in two hours the whole were under way. As 
we ascended the river, we met Kill-buck, an Indian chief, 
with a small party. We had a long conference with him, but 
received little satisfaction as to the disposition of the Indians. 
It was observed that Cresap did not come to this conference, 
but kept on the opposite side of the river. He said that he 
was afraid to trust himself with the Indians. That Kill-buck 
had frequently attempted to waylay his father, to kill him. 
That if he crossed the river, perhaps his fortitude might fail 
him, and that he might put Kill-buck to death. On our arrival 
at Wheeling, (the country being pretty well settled there- 
abouts,) the whole of the inhabitants appeared to be alarmed. 
They flocked to our camp from every direction ; and all that 
we could say could not keep them from under our wings. We 
offered to cover their neighborhood with scouts, until further 
information, if they would return to their plantations ; but 
nothing would prevail. By this time we had got to be a for- 
midable party. All the hunters, men without families, etc., 
in that quarter, had joined our party. 

Our arrival at Wheeling was soon known at Pittsburgh. 
The whole of that country, at that time, being under the 
jurisdiction of Virginia, Dr. Connolly had been appointed by 
Dunmore, Captain Commandant of the District, which was 
called Wagusta. He, learning of us, sent a message addressed 
to the party, letting us know that war was to be apprehended, 
and requesting that we would keep our position for a few 
days ; as messages had been sent to the Indians, and a few 
days would determine the doubt. The answer he got, was, 
that we had no inclination to quit our quarters for some time. 


That during our stay we should be careful that the enemy did 
not harass the neighborhood that we lay in. But before this 
answer could reach Pittsburgh, he sent a second express, 
addressed to Capt. Cresap, as the most influential man amongst 
us, informing him that the messages had returned from the 
Indians, that war was inevitable, and begging him to use his 
influence with the party, to get them to cover the country by 
scouts until the inhabitants could fortify themselves. The 
reception of this letter was the epoch of open hostilities with 
the Indians. A new post was planted, a council was called, 
and the letter read by Cresap, all the Indian traders being 
summoned on so important an occasion. Action was had, 
and war declared in the most solemn manner ; and the same 
evening two scalps were brought into camp.^ 

The next day some canoes of Indians were discovered on 
the river, keeping the advantage of an island to cover them- 
selves from our view. They were chased fifteen miles down 
the river, and driven ashore. A battle ensued ; a few were 
wounded on both sides ; one Indian only taken prisoner. On 
examining their canoes, we^ found a considerable quantity of 
ammunition and other warlike stores. On our return to camp, 
a resolution was adopted to march the next day, and attack 
Logan's camp on the Ohio about thirty miles above us. We 
did march about five miles, and then halted to take some re- 
freshment. Here the impropriety of executing the projected 
enterprise was argued. The conversation was brought for- 
ward by Cresap himself. It was generally agreed that those 
Indians had no hostile intentions — as they were hunting, and 
their party were composed of men, women, and children, with 
all their stuff with them. This we knew ; as I myself and 
others present had been in their camp about four weeks past, 
on our descending the river from Pittsburgh. In short, every 
person seemed to detest the resolution we had set out with. 
We returned in the evening, decamped, and took the road to 

It was two days after this that Logan's family were killed. 
And from the manner in which it was done, it was viewed as 
a horrid murder. From Logan's hearing of Cresap being at 
the head of this party on the river, it is no wonder that he 
supposed he had a hand in the destruction of his family. 

1 These are supposed to have been the two Indians killed in descending 
the river. 

2 It would then seem that Clark was one of this party. 




Well aware that a retaliatory blow would be given by the 
Indians, the settlers along the frontier of Virginia lost no 
time in erecting forts for their protection.^ An express was 
sent to Williamsburg, calling upon the governor for immediate 
aid ; the House of Burgesses being in session, measures were 
at once adopted to protect the frontier and drive back the 
savages. Andrew Levds, then a member from Bottetourt, 
proposed that an adequate force be raised and marched to the 
frontier with the least possible delay. His proposition was 
at once adopted and steps taken for carrying it into effect. 
In the meantime, the Indians were murdering the whites 
whenever an opportunity presented. Many of the traders 
who had penetrated the Indian country, could not retrace 
their steps in time, and thus fell before the merciless hand of 
the destroyer. One of these, near the town of White-eyes, 
the Peace Chief of the Delawares, was murdered, cut to 
pieces, and the fragments of his body hung upon the bushes, 
the kindly chief gathered them together and buried them. 
The hatred of the murderers, however, led them to disinter 
and disperse the remains of their victim anew ; but the kind- 
ness of the Delaware was as persevering as the hatred of his 

1 It was during this impending storm that many private forts sprang up 
from the bosom of the wilderness, and served for the protection of particular 
settlements. Of these, we may mention TomUnson's at Grave creek, 
Shepherd's and Bennett's at Wheeling, Van Metre's on Short creek, Wolff's 
on Buffalo, Jackson's on Ten-mile, Pricket's on the Monongahela, with 
various others, which cannot now be enumerated. Several families moved 
from AVheeling to Bedstone. 

1774.] COLONEL m'donald. 151 

brethren, and again he collected the scattered limbs and in a 
secret place hid them.-^ 

As considerable time must necessarily elapse before a large 
force could be collected and marched from the east, it was 
proposed, as the best means of diverting the Indians from the 
frontier, that an invading force should be sent against their 
towns. Accordingly, about the middle of June, (1774,) nearly 
four hundred men rendezvoused at Wheeling, embracing some 
of the most energetic and experienced on the frontier. 
Col. Angus McDonald,^ by whom this force was to be com- 
manded, not having arrived, but being daily expected, the 
different companies under their respective commanders, went 
down the river in boats to the mouth of Captina creek, 
(twenty miles), at which place they were joined by Colonel 
McDonald, and thence proceeded to the Indian town, Wap- 
patomica, which was ten or fifteen miles below the present 
Coshocton. In the command of Col. McDonald were some of 
the first and bravest men in the west. James Wood, after- 
wards Governor of Virginia, Daniel Morgan, the distinguished 
general of revolutionary memory, Michael Cresap, and others 
who became prominent, commanded companies. The expedi- 
tion was piloted by Jonathan Zane, Thomas Nicholson and 
Tady Kelly, the first of whom had no superior as a wood- 

The Indians having been notified by scouts of their ap- 

1 Heckewelder's Narrative, 132. 

2 Col. M'Donald lived near Winchester, Va. He was a man of great 
energy of character, intre^Didity, and courage. He visited the west early in 
the spring of 1774, to survey the military bounty lands, lying within the 
colonial grallt made to the of&cers and soldiers of the French and Indian 
war of 1754-63. Col. M'Donald and his party met hostile Indians at almost 
every step, until finally they were compelled to relinquish the undertaking, 
and resort to Wheeling for safety. He then reported to Dunmore the state 
of afi"airs in north-west Virginia ; whereupon, the governor authorized him 
to raise a sufficient force, and proceed to punish the savages without delay. 
The call was nobly responded to by the gallant men on the frontier, as the 
reader has already noticed. 

' Their route led along the old Indian trail toward the lakes. 


proach, formed an ambush, and as the whites came up? 
opened upon them a brisk and stunning fire. But two of 
our men, however, were killed, although several were badly 
wounded. The Indians had one killed and a number wounded, 
but their exact loss was not ascertained, as both wounded and 
dead were borne from the field. A never failing character- 
istic of the dying savage is, a desire that his body may not 
fall into the hands of his pale-faced antagonist. 

The army after this slight interruption, proceeded on its 
way to the Indian town, which was found evacuated. It was 
immediately discovered that the Indians were concealed on 
the opposite side of the river, waiting for the whites to cross. 
Col. McDonald determined to remain where he was, but took 
the precaution to despatch messengers up and down the river, 
to watch if the enemy should attempt to cross. 

The Indians finding the whites would not follow in pursuit, 
sued for peace. This was ofi"ered on condition that they sent 
over their chiefs as hostages. Five accordingly crossed over. 
Early on the following morning these chiefs were marched in 
front of the army to the western bank of the river. 

It was then ascertained that the Indians could not treat 
until the chiefs of the other tribes were present. To secure 
these, one of the hostage chiefs was sent ofi"; but not returning 
in time, a second was despatched on the same errand, and he 
not returning. Col. McDonald, who now began to suspect 
treachery, marched his army rapidly against the upper towns 
(one and a half miles distant), when it was found that the in- 
habitants had also been removed. A slight skirmish with a 
concealed body of Indians here took place, in which one of 
the enemy was killed and one of our men wounded. Colonel 
McDonald now ordered the towns to be burned and the crops 
destroyed. The army returned to "Wheeling and was dis- 
banded. The three remaining hostages were sent to Williams- 
burg, where they were kept until after the treaty of Dunmore, 
in November following. 

1774.] LOGAN. 153 

The army suffered much from want of provisions. Each 
man was put upon an allowance of one ear of corn per day. 

This invasion did little in the way of intimidating the 
savages. They continued to collect their forces, and pushed 
forward at the same time, predatory bands, to the great 
annoyance of the settlers along the Ohio, Monongahela and 
their tributaries. 

One of the first of these marauding parties was headed by 
Logan, who, burning with revenge for the murder of his 
family, had " raised the hatchet," and sworn vengeance 
against the guilty.-^ 

' At the head of a small pai'ty, this distinguished chieftain penetrated to 
the west fork of the Monongahela, before an opportunity was presented of 
doing mischief. On the 12th of July, three men (William Robinson,* Thomas 
Hellen, and Coleman Brown), conscious of safety at so great a distance from 
the extreme frontier, were engaged in pulling flax, in a field near the mouth of 
Simpson's creek. Logan and his party approached unperceived, and firing, 
Brown fell dead on the spot. The other two, however, being untouched, 
sought safety in flight ; but Hallen was soon overtaken and secured, as the 
balance of the party made after Robinson. After running a short distance, 
Logan cried out in good English, "Stop, I won't hurt you." " Yes you 

will," replied Robinson, " No, I won't ; but if you don't stop, by I'll 

shoot you." Robinson still continued to run, but in looking over his shoulder, 
stumbled, and fell over a log. In a moment Logan was upon him ; he imme- 
diately made himself known to his captive, and told him he must quietly go 
along to the Indian town, and further, that he should not be hurt. 

Reaching the Mingo town on the Muskingum, Robinson was ordered to 
run the gauntlet, but with the instructions received from Logan, he passed 
through without injury. He was then tied to a stake to be burned, but the 
Mingo chief ran and spoke some tim6 in behalf of the captive. He was an- 
swered by other chiefs, and again did LOgan reply. Three several times 
was the intended victim tied and untied, but at length the masterly eloquence 
of Logan prevailed, and he was released. After four months' captivity he 
returned home. 

a Mr. Sharpe, (Am. Pioneer, i. 208), oalls him Roberts. 



dunmore's campaign. 

In the east, the effort to organize a force sufficient to 
operate with effect against the savages, proved successful, 
and two bodies, numbering in all nearly twenty-five hundred, 
were collected, — one in the counties of Augusta, Bottetourt, 
&c., and the other in Frederick, Shenandoah, &c. 

The first of these was placed under the command of 
General Andrew Lewis, who rendezvoused at Camp Union,^ 
now Lewisburg, while the governor in person commanded 
the second. 

By the 1st of September, General Lewis only awaited the 
arrival of Col. Christian, and orders from Lord Dunmore, to 
march. In a few days a messenger reached him with orders 
from Dunmore to meet him on the 2d of October, at the 
mouth of Kanawha. On the 11th, he struck his tents and 
commenced the line of march through an unknown and track- 
less wilderness. 

The division of General Lewis numbered between one 
thousand and twelve hundred men, composed of the very 
flower of the Virginia Valley.^ 

' Col. Stuart, in his account of the Indian Wars, calls it Fort Savannah. 
The place in the early settlement of the country was known as Big Savannah. 

2 Of this force, Col. Charles Lewis of Augusta, and William Fleming of 
Bottetourt, commanded regiments of four hundred each. Col. John Field of 
Culpepper, had a small command ; and Colonel Christian, who had not yet 
joined the division, was to have command of the two remaining companies, — 
one from Bedford, and the other, Captain Shelby's, from what is now Wash- 
ington county. 

General Lewis had three sons in his division, one of whom, John, com" 
manded a company ; Samuel and Thomas were privates. 


Captain Arbuckle, an experienced and skilful frontier-man, 
conducted the division to the river, which they reached on the 
30th, after a fatiguing march of nineteen days. 

General Lewis was greatly disappointed in not meeting 
Dunmore, and still more in not hearing from him. It was 
not until the morning of the 9th, that a messenger^ reached 
him, bringing information that the plan of the campaign had 
been changed, and ordering him to march direct to the Indian 
towns on the Scioto, where the other division would join him. 
Arrangements were accordingly made preparatory to leaving, 
and on the following morning, (Monday, October 10th,) Gen. 
Lewis intended moving, as directed. Shortly after day- 
break, on the morning referred to, two soldiers who had gone 
up the Ohio to hunt, discovered a large body of Indians just 
rising from their encampment. The men were fired upon and 
one killed, but the other escaping returned to camp, hallooing 
as he ran, that he had seen " a body of Indians covering four 
acres of ground."^ 

All was, of course, surprise and confusion in the camp of 
the whites, but the commander-in-chief, " calm as a summer 
morning," lighted his pipe with the utmost sang froid, and 
ordered out the regiment under Col. Lewis, supposing that the 
discovery of the soldiers was merely that of a scouting party 

1 This man-is said to have been no less a personage than the notorious 
Simon Girty. He joined the Earl, it seems, at Fort Pitt, and afterwards 
piloted him from Fort Gower, (mouth of Hockhoking,) to the Pickway plains. 
Withers says, that the messengers sent on the occasion referred to, -were 
Indian traders, but we think our information correct, that Girty was the man. 

Some writers have ridiculously asserted that Grty was one of General Lewis' 
party, but having been reprimanded for some slight cause, left the camp, 
swearing bitterly that he would make it "swim in blood," &c. 

2 Col. Stuart said that the name of this man was Mooney, and that he 
stopped before his (S.'s) tent, to relate his adventures. Genl. Lewis, however, 
calls him Robertson, as did two other soldiers (Reed and Moore), who saw him. 
The name of the one killed was Hickman. Some have erroneously given it 
as Sevier. Robertson afterwards rose to the rank of Brigadier -general in 


of Indians, similar to such as had watched the movements of 
the army since leaving Fort Savannah. 

Colonel Lewis had barely passed the outer guard, when the 
enemy in great number appeared and commenced the attack. 
Col. Fleming was now ordered to reinforce Col. Lewis, and 
soon the battle raged with unparalleled fury. The sun had 
just risen, and was gilding with his bright autumnal tints the 
tops of the surrounding hills when the battle commenced, and 
not until it had sunk low in the heavens, did the sanguinary 
conflict materially abate. 

Colonel Lewis was mortally wounded at an early hour in 
the engagement, but with a resolute devotion rarely equalled, 
concealed the character of his wound until the line of battle 
had been fairly formed. He then sunk exhausted from loss 
of blood, and was carried to his tent, where he died about 
twelve o'clock. A braver, truer or more gallant soldier the 
country has rarely produced ; and it is a burning shame that 
his memory, as well as that of the brave men who fell with 
him, has not been perpetuated in some appropriate and 
enduring form on the scene of this memorable conflict. 

On the fall of Col. Lewis, the line of his men stretching 
along the high ground skirting Crooked run,^ which was the 
first attacked and had sustained the heaviest fire, gave symp- 
toms of irresolution, and momentarily did fall back; but Col. 
Fleming speedily rallying them, maintained the fortunes of 
the day until he, too, was struck down and borne bleeding 
from the field. 

The troops now gave way, and in all probability would 
have been routed had not Gen. Lewis ordered up Col. Field 
with a fresh reinforcement. This command met the re- 
treating troops and rallied them to the contest. The fight 
now became more desperate than ever, and was maintained by 
both parties with consummate skill, energy and valor. The 

' A small stream which puts into the Kauawha, near its mouth. 

// -J., 1 MlillniiliyH'iMhliW 

1774.] THRILLING SCENE. 157 

Indians, sure of success when they beheld the ranks give way 
after the fall of Lewis and Fleming, became frantic with rage 
when they saw the reinforcement under Col. Field. With 
convulsive grasp they seized their weapons, and would have 
rushed headlong upon the whites had the latter not kept up a 
steady and most galling fire, which seemed to have the double 
effect of thinning their ranks and cooling their rage. The 
battle scene was now terribly grand. There stood the com- 
batants; terror, rage, disappointment and despair riveted 
upon the painted faces of one, while calm resolution, and the 
unbending will to do, were strongly and unmistakably marked 
upon the other. Neither party, says an eye-witness, "would 
retreat ; neither could advance. The noise of the firing was 
tremendous. No single gun could be distinguished, but it 
was one constant roar. The rifle and tomahawk now did their 
work with dreadful certainty. The confusion and perturba- 
tion of the camp had now arrived at its greatest height. 
The confused noise and wild uproar of battle added greatly 
to the terror of the scene. The shouting of the whites, the 
continual roar of fire-arms, the war-whoop and dismal yelling 
of the Indians, sounds harsh and grating when heard sepa- 
rately, became by mixture and combination highly discordant 
and terrific. Add to this the constant succession of the dead 
and wounded, brought off from the battle-field, many of these 
with shattered limbs and lacerated flesh, pale, ghastly and 
disfigured, and besmeared with gore, their ' garments rolled in 
blood,' and uttering doleful cries of lamentation and distress ; 
others faint, feeble and exhausted by loss of blood, scarcely 
able with quivering lips to tell their ail to passers-by. Sounds 
and sights and circumstances such as these were calculated to 
excite general solicitude for the issue of the battle, and alarm 
in each individual for his own personal safety. Early in the 
day General Lewis had ordered a breast-work to be con- 
structed from the Ohio to the Kanawha, thus severing the 
camp from the neighboring forest. This breast-work was 
formed by felling trees and so disposing of their trunks and 


branches, as to form a barrier wbich was difficult to pass. It 
was designed that should the enemy gain an ascendancy in 
the field, this barrier might prevent their entrance into the 
camp, while at the same time it might serve as a protection 
to the garrison that was within." 

About twelve o'clock the Indian fire began to slacken, and 
the enemy were seen slowly to retire. A desultory fire was 
kept up from behind trees; and often, as the Virginians 
pressed too hotly upon the retreating foe, were they fatally 

Gen. Lewis, noticing the manoeuvres of the enemy, de- 
tached thi'ee companies commanded respectively by Captains 
John Stuart, George Matthews and Isaac Shelby,^ with 
orders to move quietly beneath the banks of the Kanawha 
and Crooked run, so as to gain the enemy's rear. 

This manoeuvre was so handsomely executed that the savages 
became alarmed, and fairly gave up the fight about 4 o'clock. 
The victory of the Virginians was complete. During the 
night the Indian army crossed the Ohio, and made ofi". The 
gradual retreat of the Indians was one of the most masterly 
things of the kind ever undertaken in the west. Cornstalk 
alternately led on his men, and then fell back in such a man- 
ner as to hold the whites in check and uncertainty. Between 
11 o'clock A. M. and 4 P. M., the Indian army fell back more 
than three miles. This gave them an opportunity to bear 
ofiF their wounded and dead. 

1 In the battle of Point Pleasant were two Shelby's, Evan and Isaac — 
father and son. Evan Shelby resided in 1774, in what is now Sullivan 
county, Tennessee. AVhen the call for troops was made, he exerted his in- 
fluence, and raised a company, which, with that of Captain Russell, consti- 
tuted the command of Col. Christian. Isaac Shelby was a first lieutenant 
in the company of his father. At the battle of Point Pleasant, Capt. Shelby's 
company was attached to the command of Colonel Lewis. On the fall of Col. 
Lewis, the command devolved upon Cat. Shelby, while Isaac Shelby became 
commander of the company to which he was attached. This will serve to 
explain an apparent discrepancy, which has been made to appear by the 
accounts of the various writers who have touched upon the subject. Isaac 
Shelby was afterwards Governor of Kentucky, Secretary of War, &c. 

1774.] THE INDIAN ARMY. 159 

This battle scene, in an unbroken wilderness on the Ohio, 
is described as having been one of the most thrilling affairs 
that ever took place on our western frontier. The line of 
battle was at times nearly a mile long, and often throughout 
its entire length gleamed the blended flame from Indian and 
provincial rifles. 

The Indians, under the lead of experienced and able chiefs, 
were confident of success, and fought with a desperation 
which no language can describe. 

The exact losses sustained by the respective parties were 
never fully ascertained, as the Indians were known to have 
thrown many of their dead into the Ohio. Their loss has 
been estimated at about one hundred and fifty, while that of 
the provincials in killed and wounded was over two hundred ; 
more than one-fourth of the whole number actually engaged. 
The annals of history do not show another instance where 
undisciplined troops held out so successfully and for so long a 
time against a foe vastly their numerical superior. 

At least one hundred of Gen. Lewis' men were absent, 
hunting, and knew nothing of the battle until evening.^ 

The Indian army was composed principally of Delawares, 
Mingos, Iroquois, Wyandotts and Shawanese. It was com- 
manded by Cornstock, the celebrated and noble-minded 
Shawanese chief, whose melancholy end at the same place on 
a subsequent occasion, and under circumstances of the most 
revolting treachery, cannot be dwelt upon, even at this late 
day, without feelings of melancholy regret. 

Logan assisted in the command, and burned to revenge the 
past wrongs which he had received at the hands of the "Long- 

In this, prolonged and bloody battle the brave Virginians 

' The army having become short of provisions, these men went out to 
secure a supply of game. The two who discovered the enemy, had gone 
on a similar purpose, but not with permission, it is said, of their superior 


suffered terribly. Of the killed were Colonels Lewis^ and 
Field,^ Captains Morrow, Buford, Ward, Murray, Cundiff, 
Wilson and McClenachan ; Lieutenants Allen, Goldsby and 
Dillon, with many gallant subalterns, whose names we have 
not been able to ascertain.^ 

The Indian army is said to have comprised the pick of the 
northern confederated tribes. Cornstock's towering form 
was seen rapidly hurrying through their midst, and every 
now and anon, when he found the spirits of his men were flag- 
ging, was heard to exclaim in his native tongue, "Be strong! 
be strong !" One of his warriors showing signs of fear, the 
savage chieftain slew him at the moment with his tomahawk.^ 

Gen. Lewis having buried his dead, and thrown up a rude 
fortress for the protection of the wounded, which he gave in 
charge of a sufficient force ; crossed the Ohio to meet Dun- 
more at the point designated. He moved rapidly forward, 
and in an unprecedented short period reached the Pickawy 

'' This gallant and estimable officer fell at the foot of a tree, and desired 
that he might not be disturbed ; but his intimate friend, Captain Morrow, 
assisted by a private, carried him to his tent, where he died in the course of 
the morning. He was a brave, generous, and accomplished soldier, and his 
loss was greatly regretted by the whole army. 

2 Colonel Field was a devoted and chivalrous officer, and served with 
commendable distinction in the army of Braddock. 

3 Many of those engaged in the battle of the Point, afterwards became dis- 
tinguished in the civil and military annals of the country. General Isaac 
Shelby was the first Governor of Kentucky, and Secretary of War ; Gen. Wil- 
liam Campbell, the hero of King's Mountain, and General Andrew Moore, 
Senators from Virginia ; Col. John Stuart an eminent citizen of Greenbriar ; 
Gen. Geo. Matthews, who so distinguished himself at Brandywine, and sub- 
sequently came to be Governor of Georgia, and U. S. Senator; Col. William 
M'Kee, of Ky. ; Gen. Tate, of Washington Co., Va. ; Col. Chas. Cameron of 
Bath CO. ; Gen. Bazaleel Wells, of Brooke ; and many others. 

■* It is asserted, that on the evening preceding the battle, Cornstock pro- 
posed in council with his confederate chiefs, to go in person to the camp of 
General Lewis, and negotiate peace. But his voice was overruled. " Then," 
said he, " Since you are resolved to fight, you shall fight. It is likely we 
shall have hard work to-morrow, but if any warrior shall attempt to run 
away, I will kill him with my own hand." 


plains. Here he was met by a message from Dunmore, 
ordering him to stop, as he (Dunmore) was about negotiating 
a treaty of peace with the Indians. Indignant at the manner 
he had been treated, and finding himself threatened by a 
superior force of Indians, who kept constantly in his rear, 
General Lewis disregarded the earl's orders, and pushed on. 

A second flag was now sent, but treating it as he had done 
the first. Gen. Lewis continued to advance until he had reached 
within three miles of the governor's camp. Dunmore now 
became uneasy, and accompanied by White-Eyes, a noted 
Indian chief, visited Gen. Lewis, and peremptorily ordered 
him to halt. It is asserted by some, that at this juncture it 
was with much difiiculty Gen. Lewis could restrain his men 
from killing Dunmore and his Indian companion.^ 

Gen. Lewis' orders were to return forthwith to Point Plea- 
sant ; there to leave a force sufficient to protect the place, 
and a supply of provisions for the wounded, then to lead the 
balance of the division to the place of rendezvous, and dis- 
band them. Dunmore returned to camp Charlotte, and con- 
cluded a treaty with the Indians.^ The chief speaker on the 
part of the Indians was Cornstalk, who openly charged the 
whites with being the sole cause of the war, enumerating the 
many provocations which the Indians had received, and dwell- 
ing with great force and emphasis upon the diabolical murder 
of Logan's family. This great chief spoke in the most vehe- 
ment and denunciatory style. His loud, clear voice Avas 
distinctly heard over the whele camp of twelve acres. Corn- 
stalk had from the first, opposed a war with the whites, and 

' In support of this statement, and to show the state of feeling in the 
army towards Dunmore, we may add, upon the authority of the late Colonel 
A. Lewis, son of General Lewis, that he (General L.) had to double 
and triple the guard around his marquee, to prevent the men killing the 

2 Colonel A. Lewis says there was no treaty effected until the following 
spring, but in this he must certainly be mistaken. 



when his scouts reported the advance of Gen. Lewis' division, 
the sagacious chief did all he could to restrain his men, and 
keep them from battle. But all his remonstrances were in 
vain, and it was then he told them, "As you are determined 
to fight, jou shall fight." After their defeat, and return 
home, a council was convened to determine upon what was 
next to be done. The stern old chief rising, said, " What 
shall we do now ? The Long-knives are coming upon us by 
two routes. Shall we turn out and fight them ?" No response 
being made, he continued, " Shall we kill all our squaws and 
children, and then fight until we are all killed ourselves?" 
Still the congregated warriors were silent, and after a mo- 
ment's hesitation. Cornstalk struck his tomahawk into the 
w^ar post, and with compressed lips and flashing eye, gazed 
around the assembled group, then with great emphasis spoke, 
" Since you are not inclined to fight, I will go and make 

This distinguished chief was one of the most remarkable 
men his race has ever produced. He possessed in an eminent 
degree all the elements of true greatness. Colonel Wilson, 
who was present at the interview between the chief and Lord 
Dunmore, thus speaks of the chieftain's bearing.^ 

But there was one who would not attend the camp of Lord 
Dunmore, and that was Logan. The Mingoe chief felt the chill 
of despair at his heart ; his very soul seemed frozen within 
him ; and although he would not interpose obstacles to an 
amicable adjustment of existing difficulties, still he could not 
meet the Long-knives in council as if no terrible stain of blood 
rested upon their hands. He remained at a distance, brooding 
in melancholy silence over his accumulated wrongs during 

' "When he arose, he was in no ■wise confused or daunted, but spoke in a 
distinct and audible voice, without stammering or repetition, and with pecu- 
liar emphasis. His looks while addressing Dunmore, were tridy grand and 
majestic, yet graceful and attractive. I have heard the first orators in 
Virginia, Patrick Henry and Richard Henry Lee, but never have I heard one 
whose powers of delivery surpassed those of Cornstalk." 

1774.] LOGAN'S SPEECH. 163 

most of tlie time his friends were negotiating. But Dunmore 
felt the importance of at least securing his assent ; and for 
that purpose sent a special messenger, Colonel John Gibson, 
who waited upon the chief at his wigwam. 

The messenger in due time returned, bringing with him the 
celebrated speech which has given its author an immortality, 
almost as imperishable as that of the great Athenian orator.' 

It is due perhaps, in candor, to state that the authenticity 
of this celebrated speech has been questioned. To all, how- 
ever, who have examined the testimony carefully, and with an 
unprejudiced eye, the conclusions in favor of its genuineness 
are overwhelming. A great deal of unnecessary bitterness 
has been shown by friends for and against this simple but 
touching appeal of the native chieftain. The friends of 
Cresap, feeling that he had been undeservedly reproached, 
were not willing to let his memory rest under the charges ; 
while on the other hand, Mr. Jefferson and his friends, con- 
ceiving that his veracity had been attacked, exhibited much 

^ "I appeal to any ■white man to say if he ever entered Logan's cabin 
hungry, and he gave him not meat ; if ever he came cold and naked, and 
he clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, 
Logan remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love 
for the whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed, and said, 
' Logan is the friend of the white men.' I had even thought to live with you, 
but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, the last spring, in cold 
blood and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not even sparing 
my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of 
any living creatui-e. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it; I 
have killed many ; I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country, I 
rejoice at the beams, of peace ; but do not harbor a thought that mine is 
the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to 
save his life. Who is there to moiirn for Logan ? Not one." 

This speech has ever been regarded as one of the most eloquent passages 
in the English language. Mr. Jefferson remarked of it, "I may challenge 
the whole orations of Demosthenes and of Cicero, and of any more eminent 
orator, if Europe has furnished more eminent, to produce a single passage 
superior to it ;" and an American statesman and scholar, (De Witt Clinton,) 
scarcely less illustrious than the author of this noble eulogium, has subscribed 
to that opinion. 


warmth and determination to establish the charge by con- 
firming the speech. 

But, the question of authenticity, we think should not 
depend upon the extent of Cresap's participation in the crime 
charged by Logan. As stated elsewhere, Logan was deceived 
as to the facts. Cresap, at that time, was one of the most 
prominent men on the frontier, and was known to have taken 
an active and energetic part in the defence of the settlements. 
He was known to have been engaged in the Captina affair, 
and is it therefore strange that he should have been charged 
with this third, or Yellow creek murder, occurring as it did 
only a few days after that at Captina ? The circumstances 
certainly were strongly against him, and nothing but such a 
statement as that of Col. Clark, now submitted, could have 
availed to rescue his memory from the heavy reproach which 
was fast settling upon it. We therefore repeat, that it was 
not strange Logan should have been deceived. According to 
Doddridge, many of the settlers — those living in the neighbor- 
hood, and whose opportunities should have enabled them to 
know the facts, were mislead. 

Mr. Jefferson, we think, at a very early day, had his con- 
fidence in the fullness of the charge against Cresap consi- 
derably shaken. The late John Caldwell of Wheeling creek, 
one of the earliest settlers in Ohio county, was one of the 
persons to whom Mr. Jefferson made application for facts 
concerning the unfortunate affau' at Yellow creek. The affi- 
davit which he gave, but which was never published, went far 
to exculpate Cresap from all immediate participation in that 
melancholy affair. But, we again repeat, whatever may have 
been Cresap's connection with the Yellow creek mui'der, it 
should not materially affect the genuineness of Logan's speech. 
Se felt and believed that Cresap was the man, and so declared. 
If mistaken in the perpetrator, why should that one single 
error militate against the entire production ? 

But, to retui-n from this digression. A treaty was con- 

1774.] dunmore's motives for peace. 165 

eluded at Camp Charlotte,^ in the month of November, 
and the war known as Dunmore's, Cresap's, and Logan's 
terminated. By this, the Shawanese agreed not to molest 
travellers, or hunt south of the Ohio River.^ The termination 
of this war greatly dissatisfied the Virginians, who had 
marched many hundred miles through an unbroken wilderness 
to chastise the savages. Now that they were within their 
grasp, and about to strike an efiective blow, to be thus com- 
pelled to return on the mere feint of a treaty, was, to them, 
entirely inexplicable. 

The conduct of Dunmore could not be understood except 
by supposing him to act with reference to the expected con- 
test between England and her colonies, a motive which the 
colonists regarded as little less than treasonable.^ And here 
we wish to notice a statement given as a curious instance of 
historical puzzles by Mr. Whittlesey, in his address before the 
Ohio Historical Society, delivered in 1841, at page 28.^ 

In 1831, a steamboat was detained a few hours near the 
house of Mr. Curtis, on the Ohio, a short distance above the 
mouth of the Hockhocking, and General Clark^ came ashore. 
He inquired respecting the remains of a fort or encampment 
at the mouth of the Hockhocking river, as it is now called. 
He was told that there was evidence of a clearing of several 

1 Camp Charlotte was on Sippo creek, about eight miles from the town of 

2 American Archives, fourth series, i. 1170. 

3 When Lord Dunmore retired, he left an hundred men at the mouth of 
the Great Kanawha, a few at Fort Dunmore (Pittsburg), and some at Fort 
Fincastle (Wheeling). These were dismissed, as the prospect of renewed 
war ceased. Lord Dunmore was to have returned to Pittsburg in the spring, 
to meet the Indians and form a definite peace, but the Revolutionary move- 
ments prevented. The Mingoes were not parties to the peace of Fort Char- 
lotte. — (American Archives, ii. 1189.) The frontiermen, or many of them, 
thought, as we have said, that Dunmore's conduct was outrageous, but that 
such was not the universal feeling in Virginia, may be seen by reference to 
American Archives, fourth series, ii. 170, 301, &c. 

* Expedition of Lord Dunmore, from p. 28 to 29. 

5 An eminent citizen of Missouri, a brother of General George Rogers 
Clark, of Ky. 


acres in extent, and that pieces of guns and muskets had been 
found on the spot ; and also, that a collection of several hun- 
dred bullets had been discovered on the bank of the Hock- 
hocking, about twenty-five miles up the river. General Clark 
then stated, that the ground had been occupied as a camp by 
Lord Dunmore, who came down the Kanawha with 300 men 
in the spring of 1775, with the expectation of treating with 
the Indians here. The chiefs not making their appearance, 
the march was continued up the river twenty-five or thirty 
miles, where an express from Virginia overtook the party. 
That evening a council was held and lasted very late at night. 
In the morning the troops were disbanded, and immediately 
requested to enlist in the British service for a stated period. 
The contents of the despatches had not transpired when this 
proposition was made. A major of militia, by the name of 
McCarty, made an harangue to the men against enlisting, 
which seems to have been done in an eloquent and effectual 
manner. He referred to the condition of the public mind in 
the colonies, and the probability of a revolution, which must 
soon arrive. He represented the suspicious circumstances of 
the express, which was still a secret to the troops, and that 
appearances justified the conclusion, that they were required 
to enlist in a service against their own countrymen, their own 
kindred, their own homes. The consequence was, that but 
few of the men re-enlisted, and the majority, choosing the 
orator as a leader, made the best of their way to Wheeling. 
The news brought out by the courier proved to be an account 
of the opening combat of the Revolution at Lexington, Mas- 
sachusetts, April 20, 1775. General Clark stated that himself 
(or his brother) was in the expedition. 

Lord Dunmore is said to have returned to Virginia by way 
of the Kanawha river. 

There are very few historical details sustained by better 
authority than the above relation. Desirous of reconciling 
this statement with history, I addressed a letter to General 
Clark, requesting an explanation, but his death, which hap- 
pened soon after, prevented a reply. -^ 

This we know cannot be true in the form in which it is 
stated. The battle of Lexington Avas on April 19th ; on April 

' Lord Dunmore's Expedition, pp. 28, 29. 




21st, Lord Dunmore removed the powder from the public store- 
house at Williamsburg on board a King's vessel, and was 
thenceforward at Williamsburg. June 5th he informs the 
Assembly that he had meant to go West and look after Indian 
matters, but had been too busy.^ It is one of many instances 
showing how sceptical we should be where a single person 
testifies, and especially from memory.^ 

The charge of treasonable design so industriously made 
against Dunmore, although plausible in part, is not sustained 
by facts and circumstances. That his course was not disap- 
proved at the time is clear from the fact, he was thmiked for 
his conduct by the Virginia Convention, at the head of which 
stood Washington, Randolph, the Lees, &c. &c. He was also 
thanked by the House of Burgesses, and received an address 
praising his proceedings, from the people of Fincastle County. 
(American Archives, fourth series, ii. 301, 170.) 

1 American Archives, fourth series, ii. 1189, &c. 

2 Western Annals. 





The peace effected by Dimmore continued during most of 
the year 1775. Occasionally, however, there were symptoms 
of awakening hostility on the part of the Shawanese and other 
confederated tribes, instigated no doubt by agents of England, 
for by this time the contest between the two countries had 
fairly commenced. 

The frontier people trembled at the anticipated danger of 
an alliance between Britain and the Indians ; for they well 
knew that such an influence would be powerful and full of 

In the north Col. Guy Johnson, son-in-law of Sir William 
Johnson, who had died suddenly in May, 1774, was the King's 
agent, and using every endeavor to bring over the six nations. 
This fact was known in the west, and the people naturally felt 
uneasy lest a similar effort should be made upon the western 
tribes. Those apprehensions, unhappily, were soon to be 
realized. The keen eye of Washington too, was not long in 
discerning the fatal consequences of the western savages 
becoming united under the King's banner. Accordingly, on 
the 19th of April, 1776, the commander-in-chief wrote to Con- 
gress, saying, as the Indians would soon be engaged, either 
for or against, he would suggest that they be engaged for the 
colonies ;^ upon the 3d of May, the report on this was consi- 
dered ; upon the 25th of May it was resolved to be highly 
expedient to engage the Indians for the American service ; 

' Sparks' Washington, voL iii. p. 364. Also, v. 277, where the views of 
Burke, Governor Pownall, and others, are given. 


and, upon the 3d of June, the general was empowered to 
raise two thousand, to be employed in Canada. Upon the 
17th of June, Washington was authorized to employ them 
where he pleased, and to offer them rewards for prisoners ; 
and, upon the 8th of July, he was empowered to call out as 
many of the Nova Scotia and neighboring tribes as he saw 

Such was the course of proceeding, on the part of the colo- 
nies, with regard to the employment of the Indians. The 
steps, at the time, were secret, but now the whole story is 
before the world. Not so, however, with regard to the acts 
of England ; as to them, we have but few of the records placed 
within our reach. One thing, however, is known, namely, 
that while the colonies offered their allies of the woods rewards 
for prisoners, some of the British agents gave them money for 
scalps'' — a proceeding that cannot find any justification. 

In accordance with the course of policy thus pursued, the 
north-western tribes, already angered by the constant invasions 
of their territory by the hunters of Virginia and Carolina, 
and easily accessible by the lakes, were soon enlisted on the 
side of England ; and had a Pontiac been alive to lead them, 
might have done much mischief. As it was, during the 
summer of 1776, their straggling parties so filled the woods 
of Virginia and Kentucky, that no one outside of a fort was 

1 Secret Journals, vol. 1. pp. 43-47. 
^ Jefferson's Writings, vol. i. p. 456. 
3 Western Annals. 




The entire frontiers of Virginia and Pennsylvania now 
became the theatre of renewed Indian depredations, and the 
scene of a most fierce and sanguinary war. The pioneer 
settlers shut themselves up in blockhouses, and never ventured 
out without the tomahawk and rifle. Still, notwithstanding 
this precaution, they were often shot down by the too vigilant 
savage. Britain had enlisted under her banner the toma- 
hawk and scalping knife, and terror seized the almost de- 
fenceless frontierman, as he thought of the unequal chances 
against which he had to contend. 

In consequence of these Indian murders along the frontier, 
it was determined to place an eflicient force at Wheeling, 
Point Pleasant, &c., whose presence, it was supposed, would 
have the efi"ect to overawe the savages, and keep them from 
penetrating to the interior. Most of the western tribes were 
allied with England, except the Shawanese, and they had 
only been restrained by the powerful influence of their great 
chief, Coriistalk. At length, they too, yielded to the potent 
arguments of British agents, and were preparing to espouse 
the cause of England against the colonies. Cornstalk, anxious 
to preserve peace, determined to visit the garrison at Point 
Pleasant, and use his influence to avert the threatened blow. 
In the Spring of 1777, he came to the fort on this friendly 
mission, accompanied by Hed JIatvJc, a noted young Delaware 
chief, who had fought with distinction by the side of Corn- 
stalk at the same j)lace in 1774. A third chief also made 
one of the party. Captain Matthew Arbuckle commanded 


the fort at the time, and when he had heard Cornstalk's 
straight-forward statement, that the Shawanese were deter- 
mined to join the other "Western and Northern tribes, and 
that hostilities would commence immediately. Captain A. 
deemed it prudent to detain the old chief and his companions 
as hostages for the good behaviour of his tribe. Captain 
Arbuckle immediately communicated to the new State govern- 
ment of Virginia, the facts received from Cornstalk. 

Upon the receipt of this intelligence, it was resolved, if 
volunteers could be had for the purpose, to march an army 
into the Indian country, and effectually accomplish the ob- 
jects which had been proposed in the campaign of Dunmore. 
The volunteers in Augusta and Bottetourt, were to rendezvous 
as early as possible, at the mouth of the Big Kanawha, where 
they would be joined by other troops under General Hand, 
who would then assume the command of the whole expedition. 

In pursuance of this resolve, three or four companies only, 
were raised in the counties of Bottetourt and Augusta ; and 
these immediately commenced their march, to the place of 
general rendezvous, under the command of Colonel George 
Skillern. In the Greenbriar country, great exertions were 
made by the militia officers, to obtain volunteers, but with 
little effect. But one company was formed, of thirty men, and 
the officers, laying aside all distinctions of rank, placed them- 
selves in the line as common soldiers, and proceeded to Point 
Pleasant with the troops of Colonel Skillern. Upon their 
arrival, nothing had been heard of General Hand, or of the 
forces which it was expected would accompany him from Fort 
Pitt; and the volunteers halted, to await some intelligence 
from him. 

The provisions, for the support of the army in its projected 
invasion of the Indian country, were expected to be brought 
down the river from Fort Pitt ; and the troops under Colonel 
Skillern had only taken with them what was deemed sufficient 
for their subsistence on their march to the place of rendez- 
vous. This stock was nearly exhausted, and the garrison was 
too illy supplied, to admit of their drawing on its stores. — 
While thus situated, awaiting the arrival of General Hand 
with his army and provisions, the officers held frequent con- 
versations with Cornstalk, who seemed to take pleasure in 
acquainting them with the geography of the country west of 


the Ohio river generally, and more particularly with that 
section of it lying between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. 
One afternoon, while he was engaged in delineating on the 
floor a map of that territory, with the various water courses 
emptying into those two mighty streams, and describing the 
face of the country, its soil and climate, a voice was heard 
from the opposite side of the Ohio, which he immediately 
recognized as that of his son Ellinipsico, and who, coming 
over at the instance of Cornstalk, embraced him most affec- 
tionately. Uneasy at the long absence of his father, the son 
had made the visit to ascertain the cause of his delay. 

On the day after the arrival of Ellinipsico, and while he 
was yet in the garrison, two men, from Captain Hall's com- 
pany of Rockbridge volunteers, crossed the Kanawha river on 
a hunting excursion. As they were returning to the canoe 
for the purpose of recrossing to the fort, Gilmore was espied 
by two Indians, concealed near the bank, who fired at, killed 
and scalped him. A party of Captain Hall's men immedi- 
ately sprang into a canoe and went over to relieve Hamilton, 
and to bring the body of Gilmore to the encampment. Before 
they re-landed with the bloody corpse of Gilmore, a cry arose, 
"Let us go and kill the Indians in the fort;" and pale with 
rage they ascended the bank, with Captain Hall at their head, 
to execute their horrid purpose. It was vain to remonstrate. 
To the interference of Captains Arbuckle and Stuart to pre- 
vent this bloody determination, they responded by cocking 
their guns, and threatening instant death to any one who 
should dare to oppose them. 

The interpreter's wife, (who had lately returned from In- 
dian captivity, and seemed to entertain a feeling of affection 
for Cornstalk and his companions,) seeing their danger, ran 
to their cabin to apprize them of it, and told them that Elli- 
nipsico was charged with having brought with him the Indians 
who had killed Gilmore. This, however, he positively denied, 
averring that he came alone, and with the sole object of learn- 
ing something of his father. In this time Captain Hall and 
his men had arrived within hearing, and Ellinipsico appeared 
much agitated. Cornstalk, however, encouraged him to 
meet his fate composedly, saying, " My son, the G-reat Sjoirit 
has seen jit that we should die together, and has sent you here 
to that end. It is his will and let us submit; — it is all for 
the best;" and turning to meet his murderers at the door, 
received seven bullets in his body and fell without a groan. 

Thus perished the mighty Cornstalk, Sachem of the Sha- 


wanese, and king of tlie Northern confederacy. A chief 
remarkable for many great and good qualities. He was dis- 
posed to be at all times the friend of white men ; as he ever 
was the advocate of honorable peace. But when his country's 
wrongs "called aloud to battle," he became the thunderbolt 
of war ; and made her oppressors feel the weight of his uplifted 
arm. He sought not to pluck the scalp from the head of the 
innocent, nor to war against the unprotected and defenceless ; 
choosing rather to encounter his enemies, girded for battle, 
and in open conflict. His noble bearing, — his generous and 
disinterested attachment to the colonies, when the thunder 
of British cannon was reverberating through the land — his 
anxiety to preserve the frontier 'of Virginia from desolation 
and death, (the object of his visit to Point Pleasant) — all 
conspired to win for him the esteem and respect of others ; 
while the untimely and perfidious manner of his death, caused 
a deep and lasting regret to pervade the bosoms, even of 
those who were enemies to his nation; and excited the just 
indignation of all towards his inhuman and barbarous mur- 

Cornstalk is said to have had a presentiment of his ap- 
proaching fate. On the day preceding his death, a council of 
officers was convoked, in consequence of the continued ab- 
sence of General Hand, and their entire ignorance of his 
force or movements, to consult and determine on what would 
be the course for them to pursue under existing circumstances. 
Cornstalk was admitted to the council; and in the course of 
some remarks, with which he addressed it, said, " When I 
was young and went to war, I often thought each might be 
my last adventure, and I should return no more. I still 
lived. Now I am in the midst of you, and if you choose, 
may kill me. I can die but once. It is alike to me, whether 
now or hereafter." 

General Hand reached Point Pleasant a few days after this 
diabolical outrage. He brought no provisions for the Virginia 
troops, and it was then resolved to abandon the expedition. 

The Governor of Virginia offered a reward for the appre- 
hension of the murderers, but without avail. Congress, too, 
made every suitable concession to the Shawanees, through 
Colonel Morgan, but the savages would not be appeased; 
and bitterly did the frontier suffer for this imprudent act of a 
few lawless men. 




Convinced that the Indians would, on the breaking up of 
winter, make increased efforts to retrieve past losses, and also 
to avenge the death of their slaughtered chief, the whites lost 
no time in erecting new stockades, repairing old ones, and 
making such other preparations for repelling the enemy, as 
lay within their power. 

But the settlers were not alone busy. Congress having 
witnessed the success of England in buying up the savages, 
determined to strike an effective blow against the allies, 
hoping thereby, to deter them from further acts of violence 
on the frontier. With this view, an expedition was ordered 
against the confederated tribes, of such force as would 
strike terror to their midst, and restrain them from further 
aggression. Three thousand troops were to be furnished 
by Virginia, — twenty-seven hundred from east of the moun- 
tains, and three hundred from the west. Fifteen hundred 
of these were to strike the Ohio by way of the Kanawha 
valley, while the others were to assemble at Fort Pitt, and 
thence proceed to effect a junction at Fort Randolph.^ From 
this point the united force was to march against the Indian 
towns. Col. Morgan was directed to make every suitable 
arrangement for provisioning this large number of men. 
Whilst these preparations were making, General Mcintosh, 
who had been appointed to the command of the western 
division, in place of General Hand, advanced across the 

' This fort was built in the spring of 1775, by some Virginia troops, and 
Captain Arbuckle placed in command. 

1778.] FORT m'intosh built. 175 

mountains with five hundred men, and proceeding to the 
mouth of Beaver, twenty-eight miles below Pittsburg, erected 
Fort Mcintosh.^ This was considered a most favorable 
position for a body of troops to intercept parties of Indians 
on their way against the settlements of Virginia and Penn- 
sylvania. The effect was very soon perceptible throughout 
the entire frontier. 

Before proceeding with the projected invasion, it was 
thought prudent to convene the Delaware Indians, at Pitts- 
burg, and obtain their consent to march through their terri- 
tory. This was done the 17th of September, 1778, by 
Andrew Lewis and Thomas Lewis, commissioners on the part 
of the United States, and signed in presence of Lach. 
Mcintosh, Brigadier-general, commandant of the western 
department ; Daniel Brodhead, Colonel of the 8th Penn- 
sylvania regiment ; William Crawford, Colonel ; John Gibson, 
Colonel 13th Virginia regiment, and several others. 

In the course of the following month, General Mcintosh 
assembled one thousand men at the newly erected fort, and 
marched into the enemy's country. The season was so far 
advanced that the troops only proceeded about seventy miles 
and halted on the west bank of the Tuscarawas river. Here, 
on an elevated plain, it was concluded to build a stockaded 
fort, which was named Fort Laurens, in honor of the Presi- 
dent of Congress. It was garrisoned with one hundred 
and fifty men, and left under the command of Colonel Gibson, 
and the army returned to Fort Pitt. The other branch of the 
expedition, intended to be assembled at the mouth of the 
Kanawha, was never collected, the increasing demand for men 

1 Arthur Lee, of Virginia, Yisited this place in 1784, as commissioner, to 
treat with the Indians ; from his journal we copy a description of Fort 
M'intosh. "This fort is built of well- hewn logs, with four bastions: its 
figure, an irregular square — the face to the river being longer than the 
side to the land. It is about equal to a square of fifty yards, is well-built 
and strong against musketry." This was the first fort built by the whites 
north of the Ohio. It was a substantial structure and well mounted with 
six six-pounders. 


in the east doubtless rendering it difficult to raise the number 
demanded. Although no opposition was made to the pro- 
gress of the army under General Mcintosh, as the hostile 
Indians were hardly aware of his presence, before he had 
again retreated; yet in January following, the Shawanese 
and Wyandotts collected a large body of warriors and invested 
the fort, cutting off all intercourse with Fort Mcintosh, and 
suffering no one to go in or to come out ; watching it so 
closely that it became very hazardous to procure either wood 
or water. 

Colonel Stone having most faithfully described this siege in 
the wilderness, we will follow his account : — 

" The first hostile demonstration of the forest warriors was 
executed with equal cunning and success. The horses of the 
garrison were allowed to forage for themselves upon the 
herbage, among the dried prairie-grass immediately in the 
vicinity of the fort, wearing bells, that they might be the 
more easily found, if straying too far. It happened, one 
morning in January, that the horses had all disappeared, but 
the bells were heard, seemingly at no great distance. They 
had, in truth, been stolen by the Indians, and conveyed away. 
The bells, however, were taken off, and used for another pur- 
pose. Availing themselves of the tall prairie-grass, the Indians 
formed an ambuscade, at the farthest extremity of which they 
caused the bells to jingle as a decoy. The artifice was suc- 
cessful. A party of sixteen men was sent in pursuit of the 
straggling steeds, who fell into the snare. Fourteen were 
killed upon the spot, and the remaining two taken prisoners, 
one of whom returned at the close of the war, and of the 
other nothing was ever heard. 

Towards evening of the same day, the whole force of the 
Indians, painted, and in the full costume of war, presented 
themselves in full view of the garrison, by marching in single 
files, though at a respectful distance, across the prairie. 
Their number, according to a count from one of the bastions, 
was eight hundred and forty-seven ; altogether too great to 
be encountered in the field by so small a garrison. After 
this display of their strength, the Indians took a position 
upon an elevated piece of ground at no great distance from 
the fort, though on the opposite side of the river. In this 


situation they remained several weeks, in a state rather of 
armed neutrality than of active hostility. Some of them 
would frequently approach the fort sufficiently near to hold 
conversations with those upon the walls. They uniformly 
professed a desire for peace, but protested against the en- 
croachments of the white people upon their lands ; more 
especially was the erection of a fort so far within the terri- 
tory claimed by them as exclusively their own, a cause of 
complaint, nay, of admitted exasperation. There was with 
the Americans in the fort an aged friendly Indian, named 
John Thompson, who seemed to be in equal favor with both 
parties, visiting the Indian encampment at pleasure, and 
coming and going as he chose. They informed Thompson 
that they deplored the continuance of hostilities, and finally 
sent word by him to Colonel Gibson that they were desirous 
of peace, and if he would present them with a barrel of flour, 
they would send in their proposals the next day. The flour 
was sent, but the Indians, instead of fulfilling their part of 
the stipulation, withdrew, and entirely disappeared. They 
had, indeed, continued the siege as long as they could obtain 
subsistence, and raised it only because of the lack of supplies. 
Still, as the beleaguerment was begun in stratagem, so was it 
ended. Colonel Gibson's provisions were also running short, 
and, as he supposed the Indians had entirely gone ofi", he 
directed Colonel Clark, of the Pennsylvania line, with a 
detachment of fifteen men, to escort the invalids of the garri- 
son, amounting to ten or a dozen men, back to Fort Mcintosh. 
But the Indians had left a strong party of observation lurking 
in the neighborhood of the fort, and the escort had proceeded 
only two miles before it was fallen upon, and the whole 
number killed with the exception of four, one of whom, a 
captain, escaped back to the fort. The bodies of the slain 
were interred by the garrison, on the same day, with the 
honors of war.^ A party was likewise sent out to collect the 

* The bodies of these men were found, horribly mutilated by the wolves, 
with which the wilderness abounded. The appearance which the butchered, 
and half-devoured men presented, was most shocking. Determined to have 
revenge upon the four-legged enemy, the men sent out to bury the dead, 
after depositing the remains in a deep pit, covered it with light timber, grass, 
&c., and placing near the centre a piece of meat, left it for the night. In 
the morning, seven wolves were found in the hole. These were slaughtered, 
and the place filled up. Such was the soldier's tomb ! 




[Chap. VIII. 

remains of the fourteen who had first fallen by the ambuscade, 
and bury them. 

The situation of the garrison was now becoming deplorable. 
For two weeks the men had been reduced to half-a-pound of 
sour flour, and a like quantity of offensive meat, per diem ; 
and for a week longer they were compelled to subsist only 
upon raw hides, and such roots as they could find in the cir- 
cumjacent woods and prairies, when General Mcintosh most 
opportunely arrived to their relief." 

The fort was evacuated and the position abandoned. Thus 
ended the disastrous occupancy of Fort Laurens, in which 
much fatigue and sufi"ering were endured, and many lives lost, 
but with no material benefit to the country. 




Colonel Daniel Brodhead having succeeded General 
Mcintosh, commanding the western division, determined to 
strike an effective blow against the Indian towns on the 
Muskingum. An expedition was accordingly fitted out in the 
spring of 1781,^ which rendezvoused at Wheeling, and pro- 
ceeded thence to the scene of their intended operations. It 
embraced about eight hundred men, composed of some of the 
most experienced Indian hunters on the frontiers of Virginia 
and Pennsylvania. Colonel David Shepherd, of Wheeling 
creek, was one of the party. 

With the least practicable delay, the expedition crossed the 
Ohio and moved rapidly towards the Indian towns, that they 
might strike a decisive blow before the enemy should discover 
their approach. 

When the army had reached the river, a little below Salem, 
the lowest Moravian town. Col. Brodhead sent an express to 
the missionary of the place, the Rev. John Heckewelder, in- 
forming him of his arrival in the neighborhood with his army, 
requesting a small supply of provisions, and a visit from him 
in his camp. The Christian Indians sent the supply of provi- 
sions, and Mr. Heckewelder repaired to Col. Brodhead's camp. 
Col. Brodhead then said, "that being on an expedition against 
the hostile Indians, at or near the forks of the river, he was 
anxious to know before he proceeded any further, whether 
any of the Christian Indians were out hunting, or on business 

' Doddridge places this expedition in 1780, but he is clearly wrong, as 
Heckewelder, from whom he drew his account, gives it as occurring in 1781. 
Withers, and most recent writers, follow Doddridge. 


in the direction he was going." Being answered in the nega- 
tive, he declared, that " nothing would give him greater pain, 
than to hear that any one of the Moravian Indians had been 
molested by his troops : as these Indians had conducted them- 
selves from the commencement of the war, in a manner that 
did them: honor."^ 

While, however, he was assuring Mr. Heckewelder that the 
Christian Indians had nothing to fear, an officer came with 
great speed from one quarter of the camp, and reported that 
a particular division of the militia " were preparing to break 
off for the purpose of destroying the Moravian settlements up 
the river, and he feared they could not be restrained from 
so doing. Col. Brodhead and Col. Shepherd of Wheeling, 
immediately took such measures as prevented it,^ 

The army then proceeded until within a few miles of Co- 
shocton, when an Indian prisoner was taken. Soon after, 
two more Indians were discovered and fired upon, but not- 
withstanding one of them was wounded, both made their 

Col. Brodhead, knowing that these two Indians would en- 
deavor to give immediate notice of the approach of the army, 
ordered a rapid march, in order to reach the town before 
them, and take it by surprise. This was done in the midst of a 
heavy fall of rain, and the plan succeeded. The army reached 
the place in three divisions, — the right and left wings ap- 
proached the river a little above and below the town, while 
the centre marched directly upon it. The whole number 
of the Indians in the village, on the east side of the river, 
together with ten or twelve from a little village some distance 
above, were made prisoners, without firing a single shot. The 
river having risen to a great height, owing to the recent fall 
of rain, the army could not cross it. Thus, the villages on the 
west side of the river escaped destruction. 

Among the prisoners, sixteen warriors were pointed out by 
Pekillon, a friendly Delaware chief, who was with the army 
of Col. Brodhead. A little after dark a council of war was 
held, to determine on the fate of the warriors. They were 
doomed to death. They were then bound, taken a little dis- 
tance below the town, dispatched with tomahawks and spears, 
and scalped. 

Early the next morning an Indian presented himself on the 

^ Heckewelder's Narrative, p. 214. ^ j^jid^ 215. 




opposite bank of the river, and asked for the "Big Captain." 
Col. Brodhead presented himself, and asked the Indian what 
he wanted? The Indian replied, "I want peace." "Send 
over some of your chiefs," said Brodhead. " May be you kill ?" 
He was answered, "They shall not be killed." One of the 
chiefs, a well looking man, came over the river and entered 
into conversation with Col. Brodhead in the street ; but while 
engaged in conversation, a man belonging to the army, by 
the name of John Wetzel, came up behind him, with a toma- 
hawk concealed in the bosom of his hunting shirt, and struck 
him a blow on the back of his head. He fell, and instantly 

About mid-day the army commenced its retreat from Co- 
shocton. Col. Brodhead committed the care of the prisoners 
to the militia. They were about twenty in number. After 
marching about a mile, the men commenced killing them, and 
did not cease until the whole were murdered and scalped, 
except a few women and children who were spared and taken 
to Fort Pitt."i 

^ Doddridge. 

182 MORAVIANS. [Chap. X. 



This is a chapter in our history which we would fain drop, 
and draw over it the curtain of oblivion, did not our duty 
require us to speak in deference to a higher obligation. The 
murder of the Christian or Moravian Indians, was one of the 
most atrocious affairs in the settlement of the west. It is a 
reproach upon the character of the country, and a living 
stigma upon the memory of every man known to have been 
engage in the diabolical transaction. It is but justice, how- 
ever, that those who protested against the enormity should 
be exonerated from blame. 

The Moravian Indians consisted chiefly of Delawares, with 
a few Mohicans. These simple-minded children of the forest 
had become converted to Christianity through the zeal and 
influence of Moravian Missionaries. Their homes embraced 
the villages of Gnadenhutten, Schonbrunn, Salem and Lich- 

For ten years they had lived in peace and quietness. The 
harsh savage had been softened by the mild influences of 
Christianity; peace, content and happiness smiled upon him 
from year to year, and blessed him with their joys. But, alas, 
the destroyer came, and blotted this fair field of Christian 
labor utterly from existence. 

The Moravian Indians early became objects of suspicion to 
both the whites and surrounding savages. The latter, because 
they had given up the customs of their race ; and by the former, 
on account of their supposed protection to, or harboring of, 
hostile Indians. Their towns lay immediately on the track 


from Sandusky to the nearest point on the Ohio ; and while 
passing to and fro, the hostile parties would compel their 
Christian brethren to furnish provisions. Thus situated, as 
it were, between two fires, it is not surprising that they should 
have fallen a sacrifice to one or the other. During the whole 
of our Revolutionary struggle, the Moravian Indians remained 
neutral, or if they took any part, it was in favor of the whites, 
advising them of the approach of hostile Indians, &c. Yet, 
notwithstanding all their former friendliness, they fell under 
the displeasure of the border settlers, who suspected them 
of aiding and abetting the savages, whose depredations upon 
the frontier had caused so much terror and misery throughout 
western Virginia and Pennsylvania. To add to this feeling, early 
in February, 1782, a party of Indians from Sandusky, pene- 
trated the settlements, and committed numerous depredations. 
Of the families that fell beneath the murderous stroke of these 
savages was that of David Wallace, consisting of himself, 
wife and six children, and a man named Carpenter. Of these 
all were killed, except the latter, whom they took prisoner. 
The early date of this visitation, induced the people at once 
to believe that the depredators had wintered with the Mora- 
vians, and the excited settlers uttered vengeance against those 
who were supposed to have harbored them. An expedition 
was at once determined upon, and about the first of March a 
body of eighty or ninety men, chiefly from the Monongahela,^ 
rendezvoused at the old Mingo towns, on Mingo Bottom, now 
Jefferson county, Ohio. Each man furnished himself with 
his own arms, ammunition and provision. Many of them had 
horses. The second day's march brought them within one 
mile of the middle Moravian town, and they encamped for 
the night. In the morning the men were divided into two 
equal parties, one of which was to cross the river about a mile 
above the town, their videttes having reported that there were 
Indians on both sides of the river. The other party was 

' Whittlesey, Am. Pioneer, 428. 


divided into three divisions, one of whicli was to take a circuit 
in the woods, and reach the river, a little distance below the 
town, on the east side. Another division was to fall into the 
middle of the town, and the third at its upper end. 

The victims received warning of their danger, but took no 
measures to escape, believing they had nothing to fear from 
the Americans, but supposed the only quarter from which 
they had grounds for apprehending injury, was from those 
Indians who were the enemies of the Americans. 

When the party designed to make the attack on the west 
side, had reached the river, they found no craft to take them 
over ; but something like a canoe was seen on the opposite 
bank. The river was high with some floating ice. A young 
man by the name of Slaughter swam the river, and brought 
over not a canoe, but a trough, designed for holding sugar 
water. This trough could carry but two men at a time. In 
order to expedite their passage, a number of men stripped off 
their clothes, put them into the trough, together with their 
guns, and swam by its sides, holding its edges with their 
hands. When about sixteen had crossed the river, their two 
sentinels, who had been posted in advance, discovered an 
Indian, whose name was Shabosh, whom they shot and scalped. 

By this time, about sixteen men had got over the river, 
and supposing that the fi.ring of the guns which killed Shabosh, 
would lead to an instant discovery, they sent word to the 
party designed to attack the town on the east side of the 
river, to move on instantly ; which they did. 

In the mean time, the small party which had crossed the 
river, marched with all speed, to the main town on the west 
side of the river. Here they found a large company of Indians 
gathering the corn, which they had left in their fields the 
preceding fall, when they removed to Sandusky.^ — On the 

^ In the fall of '81, a Huron chief, with 300 warriors, accompanied by an 
English officer, visited the Moravians, and compelled them to remove 
to Sandusky. Many outrages were committed on them, their property 
destroyed, &c. 


arrival of the men at the town, they professed peace and 
goodwill to the Moravians, and informed them that they had 
come to take them to Fort Pitt, for their safety. The Indians 
surrendered, delivered up their arms, even their hatchets, on 
being promised that every thing should be restored to them 
on their'arrival at Pittsburgh. The murderers then went to 
Salem, and persuaded the Indians there to go with them to 
Gnadenhutten, the inhabitants of which, in the mean time, 
had been attacked and driven together, and bound without 
resistance ; and when those from Salem were about entering 
the town, they were likewise deprived of their arms and 

The prisoners being thus secured, a council of war was held 
to decide on their fate. The officers, unwilling to take on 
themselves the whole responsibility of the awful decision, 
agreed to refer the question to the whole number of the men. 
The men were accordingly drawn up in a line. — The com- 
mandant of the party, Col. David Williamson,^ then put the 
question to them in form, "Whether the Moravian Indians 
should be taken prisoners to Pittsburgh, or put to death ; and 
requested that all those who were in favor of saving their 
lives should step out of the line, and form a second rank ?" 
On this sixteen, some say eighteen, stepped out of the rank^ 
and formed themselves into a second line. But, alas! this 
line of mercy was far too short for that of vengeance. 

Most of those opposed to this diabolical resolution protested 
in the name of high Heaven against the atrocious act, and 
called God to witness that they were innocent of the blood of 
those inoffensive people ; yet the majority remained unmoved, 

■" Colonel David Williamson, the leader of this expedition, has been greatly 
reproached for his supposed participation in it. As it is our duty to render 
justice "where justice is due, we must briefly state, that from the best evidence 
before us, Colonel Williamson deserves not the censure belonging to this cam- 
paign. He is acknowledged on all hands to have been a brave and meritorious 
officer, and had he possessed proper command, none can doubt but that the 
result would have been very diffcirent. 


and some of them were even in favor of burning them alive. 
But it was at length decided that they should be scalped in 
cold blood, and the Indians were told to prepare for their 
fate, that, as they were Christians, they might die in a Chris-. 
tian manner. After the first burst of horror was over, they 
patiently suffered themselves to be led into buildings, in one 
of which the men, and in the other, the women and children 
were confined, like sheep for slaughter. They passed the night 
in praying, exhorting each other to remain faithful, asking 
pardon from each other for any offences they had committed, 
and singing hymns of praise to God. 

From the time they had been placed in the guard-house, 
the unfortunate prisoners foresaw their fate, and commenced 
singing, praying, and exhorting one another to place their 
faith in the Saviour of men. 

The particulars of this catastrophe are too horrid to relate. 
"When the morning arrived, the murderers selected two houses, 
which they named slaughter-houses — one for the women and 
children. The victims were then bound, two and two together, 
and led into the slaughter-houses, where they were scalped 
and murdered. 

The number of the slain, as reported by the men on their 
return from the campaign, was eighty-seven or eighty -nine ; 
but the Moravian account, which no doubt is correct, makes 
the number ninety-six. Of these, sixty-two were grown 
persons, one-third of whom were women, the remaining thirty- 
four were children. All these, with a few exceptions, were 
killed in the houses. 

A few men, who were supposed to be warriors, were tied 
and taken some distance from the slaughter-houses, to be 

Of the whole number of the Indians at Gnadenhutten and 
Salem, only two made their escape. These were two lads of 
fourteen or fifteen years of age. One of them escaped through 
a window on the night previous to the massacre, and concealed 
himself in the cellar of the house to which the women and 


children were brought next day to be murdered, whose blood 
he saw running in streams through the floor. On the following 
night he left the cellar, into which, fortunately, no one came, 
and got into the woods. The other youth received one blow 
upon his head, and was left for dead. 

The Indians of the upper town, were apprized of their 
danger in due time to make their escape, two of them having 
found the mangled body of Shabosh. Providentially they all 
made their escape, although they might have been easily 
overtaken by the party, if they had undertaken their pursuit. 
A division of the men were ordered to go to Schonbrunn, but 
finding the place deserted, they took what plunder they could 
find, and returned to their companions without looking farther 
after the Indians. 

After the work of death had been finished, and the plunder 
secured, all the buildings in the town were set on fire, includ- 
ing the slaughter-houses. A rapid retreat to the settlement 
concluded this deplorable campaign. It was, certainly, one 
of the most horrible afiairs ever undertaken in this country, 
and is revolting to every feeling of the human heart. It 
must stand a record of infamy as long as time exists. 

Doddridge, whose views, in part, we have embodied in a 
portion of this account, says : 

"In justice to the memory of Col. Williamson, I have to 
say, that although at that time ver^ young, I was personally 
acquainted with him, and from my recollection of his conver- 
sation, I say with confidence that he was a brave man, but 
not cruel. He would meet an enemy in battle, and fight like 
a soldier; but not murder a prisoner. Had he possessed the 
authority of a superior officer in a regular army, I do not 
believe that a single Moravian Indian would have lost his 
life; but he possessed no such authority. He was only a 
militia officer, who could advise, but not command. His only 
fault was that of too easy a compliance with popular opinion 
and popular prejudice. On this account his memory has been 
loaded with unmerited reproach. 


Should it be asked what sort of people composed the band 
of murderers of these unfortunate people ? I answer, — They 
were not miscreants or vagabonds ; many of them were men 
of the first standing in the country. Many of them had 
recently lost relations by the hands of the savages, and were 
burning for revenge. They cared little upon whom they 
wreaked their vengeance, so they were Indians. 

When attacked by our people, although they might have 
defended themselves, they did not. They never fired a single 
shot- They were prisoners and had been promised protection. 
Every dictate of justice and humanity required that their 
lives should be spared. The complaint of their villages being 
" Half-way houses for the warriors " was at an end, as they 
had been removed to Sandusky the fall before. It was 
therefore an atrocious and unqualified murder. But by whom 
committed? By a majority of the campaign ? For the honor 
of my country, I hope I may safely answer this question in 
the negative. It was one of those convulsions of the moral 
state of society, in which the voice of the justice and humanity 
of a majority is silenced by the clamor and violence of a 
lawless minority. Very few of our men imbrued their hands 
in the blood of the Moravians. Even those who had not voted 
for saving their lives, retired from the scene of slaughter with 
horror and disgust. Why then did they not give their votes 
in their favor ? The fear of public indignation restrained 
them from doing so. They thought well, but had not heroism 
enough to express their opinion. Those who did so, deserve 
honorable mention for their intrepidity. So far as it may 
hereafter be in my power, this honor shall be done them. 
While the names of the murderers shall not stain the pages 
of history, from my pen at least." 



Crawford's campaign. 

The signal success attending the expedition against the 
Moravians induced many who had been engaged in that atro- 
cious affair to get up a second one on a more grand and 
extensive plan against the Indian settlements at Sandusky. 
This was the ostensible motive, but some believed it was merely 
intended to finish the work of murder and plunder upon the 
Moravians. Such at least is said to have been the object with 
some who composed the expedition ; with the majority, how- 
ever, it was regarded as an expedition to punish the Wyandotts 
for their many and long-continued depredations upon the 
whites. Every inducement was held out to join the expedi- 
tion. Placards were posted at Wheeling, Catfish, and other 
places, of a new State that was to be organized on the Mus_ 
kingum, and no effort left untried that could excite either the 
cupidity or revenge of the frontier people. A force was soon 
raised in the western parts of Pennsylvania and Virginia of 
four hundred and eighty men, well mounted and armed ; each 
man furnished his own horse and equipments, except a small 
supply of ammunition provided by the Lieutenant-colonel of 
Washington county, Pennsylvania. The place of rendezvous 
was Mingo Bottom, where, on the 25th of May, 1782, nearly 
five hundred men mustered and proceeded to elect their com- 
mander. The choice fell upon Col. William Crawford, who 
will be remembered as Washington's old friend and agent. 
He was reluctant to go, but at length yielded to the entreaties 
of friends. (See biography of Col. C. in this volume.) 

The army marched along "Williamson's trail," as it was 


then called, until they arrived at the ruins of the upper 
Moravian town, on the fourth day of their march, in the fields 
belonging to which, there was still an abundance of corn on 
the stalks, with which their horses were plentifully fed, during 
the night. 

Shortly after the army halted at this place, two Indians 
were discovered, by some men who had walked out of the 
camp. Three shots were fired at one of them, but without 
hurting him. As soon as the news of the discovery of Indians 
reached the camp, more than one-half of the men rushed out, 
without command, and in the most tumultuous manner, to see 
what happened.^ From that time Colonel Crawford felt a 
presentiment of the defeat which followed. 

The Indians were observing the motions of the troops. 
From the time the Christian Indians were murdered on the 
Muskingum, the savages had kept spies out, to guard against 
being again surprised. There was not a place of any im- 
portance on the Ohio, from Pittsburgh to Grave creek, left 
unobserved. Thus, when in May, two months after the de- 
struction of the Moravian towns, the white settlers were seen 
in agitation, as if preparing for some enterprise, the news was 
brought to the Indians, and so from day to day, until Craw- 
ford's men had crossed the Ohio river, and even then their 
first encampment was reconnoitred. They knew the number 
of troops and their destination, visited every encampment 
immediately on their leaving it, when on their march, and saw 
from their writings on the trees, and scraps of paper, that "no 
quarter was to be given to any Indian, whether, man, woman 
or child. "2 

Nothing of consequence happened during their march, 
until the 6th of June, when their guides conducted them to 
the site of the Moravian villages, on one of the upper branches 
of the Sandusky river. From this retreat, the Christian 
Indians had lately been driven away, by the Wyandotts, to 
the Scioto. 

In this dilemma, what was to be done ? The officers held 
a council, in which it was determined to march one day longer 
in the direction of Upper Sandusky, and if they should not 
reach the town in the course of the day, to make a retreat 
with all speed. 

The march was commenced on the following morning 

1 M'Clurg says, that a few of tlie volunteers at this time returned home. 

2 Heckewelder, 337. 

1782.] ESTREAT OF THE ARMY. 191 

through the plains of Sandusky, and continued until two 
o'clock, when the advance guard was attacked and driven in 
by the Indians, who were discovered in large numbers in the 
high grass with which the place was covered. The Indian 
army was at that moment about entering a piece of woods, 
almost entirely surrounded by plains ; but in this they were 
partially prevented by a rapid movement of the whites. The 
battle then commenced by a heavy fire from both sides. From 
a partial possession of the woods, which they had gained at 
the outset of the battle, the Indians were soon dislodged. 
They then attempted to gain a small skirt of wood on the 
right flank of Colonel Crawford, but were prevented from so 
doing by the vigilance and bravery of Major Leet, who com- 
manded the right wing at the time. The firing was heavy and 
incessant until dark, when it ceased, and both armies lay on 
their arms during the night. Both adopted the policy of 
kindling large fires along the line of battle, and then retiring 
some distance in the rear of them, to prevent being surprised 
by a night attack. During the conflict of the afternoon, three 
of Col. Crawford's men were killed and several wounded. 

On the next morning, the army occupied the battle ground 
of the preceding day. The Indians made no attack during 
the day, until late in the evening, but were seen in large 
bodies traversing the plains in various directions. Some of 
them appeared to be carrying off their dead and wounded. 

In the morning of this day, a council of ofiicers was held, 
and a retreat was resolved on, as the only means of saving 
the army. The Indians appearing to increase every hour. 

During this day, preparations were made for a retreat 
by burying the dead, burning fires over their graves to pre- 
vent discovery, and preparing means for carrying ofi" the 
wounded. The retreat was to commence in the course of the 
night. The Indians, however, became apprized of this in- 
tended retreat, and about sundown attacked the army with 
great force and fury, in every direction, excepting that of 

When the line of march was formed by the commander- 
in-chief, and the retreat commenced, the guides prudently 
took the direction of Sandusky, which aff"orded the only open- 
ing in the Indian lines, and the only chance of concealment. 
After marching about a mile in this direction, the army 
wheeled about to the left, and by a circuitous route gained, 
before day, the trail by which they came. They continued 


their march the whole of the next day, without annoyance, 
except the firing of a few distant shots, by the Indians at the 
rear guard, which slightly wounded two or three men. At 
night they built fires, took their suppers, secured the horses, 
and resigned themselves to repose, without placing a single 
sentinel or vidette for safety. In this careless situation, they 
might have been surprised and cut off by the Indians, who, 
however, did not disturb them during the night, nor after- 
wards, during the whole of their retreat. The number that 
retreated in the main body is supposed to be about three 

At the commencement of the retreat, Colonel Crawford 
placed himself at the head of the army, and continued there 
until they had gone about a quarter of a mile, when missing 
his son John Crawford, his son-in-law Major Harrison, and 
his nephews Major Rose and William Crawford, he halted and 
called for them, as the line passed, but without finding them.^ 
After the army had passed him, he was unable to overtake it, 
owing to the weariness of his horse. Falling in company with 
Dr. Knight, and two others, they travelled all night, first 
north and then to the east to avoid the pursuit of the Indians. 
They directed their courses by the north star. 

On the next day, they fell in with Capt. John Biggs and 
Lieut. Ashley, the latter of whom was wounded. Two others 
were in company with Biggs and Ashley. On the next day, 
Capt. Biggs and Dr. Knight insisted upon continuing their 
course through the woods, and avoiding all paths, but Crawford 
overruled, assuring them that the Indians would not urge the 
pursuit beyond the plains, which were already far behind, 
and abandoning their due eastern course, the party pursued 
the beaten tract, travelled over by the army a few days before. 
Crawford and Knight moved one hundred and fifty yards in 
front. Captain Biggs and his wounded friend, Lieut. Ashley, 
were in the centre, both on horseback, and the two men on 
foot brought up the rear. 

Scarcely had they proceeded a mile, when several Indians 
sprang up before Crawford and Knight, and presenting their 
guns, ordered them, in good English, to stop. Knight sprang 
behind a tree and leveled his gun. Col. Crawford ordered 
him not to fire, Knight reluctantly obeyed, and the Indians 
ran up to Col. Crawford in a friendly manner, shook him by 

' They were captured and burned by the Indians. 


the hand cordially, and asked him how he did. Biggs and 
Ashley halted, while the two men in the rear prudently took 
to their heels and escaped. Colonel Crawford ordered Captain 
Biggs to come up and surrender, but the Captain took aim at 
one of the Indians, fired, and then he and Ashley put spurs 
to their horses and for the time escaped. They were both 
overtaken and killed the next day. 

On the morning of the tenth of June, Col. Crawford and 
Dr. Knight, together with nine more prisoners, were conducted 
by seventeen Indians to the old Sandusky town, about thirty- 
three miles distant. The nine prisoners were marched ahead 
of Crawford and Knight, who were conducted by Pipe and 
Wingemund, two Delaware Chiefs. All the prisoners, in- 
cluding Col. Crawford and Dr. Knight, had been previously 
painted black by Pipe. Four of the prisoners were toma- 
hawked and scalped on the way at different places ; and when 
the other five arrived at the town, the boys and squaws fell 
upon them and tomahawked them in a moment. (For parti- 
culars of what followed, see sketch of Colonel Crawford.) 

Thus ended this disastrous campaign. It was the last 
one which took place in this section of the country during the 
war of the Revolution. It was undertaken with the very worst 
views — those of murder and plunder. It was conducted with- 
out sufficient means to encounter, with any prospect of success, 
the large Indian forces upon the plains of Sandusky. There 
was not that subordination and discipline which is always 
necessary to success ; and it ended in total discomfiture, and 
an awful sacrifice of life. Never did any enterprise more 
signally fail, and never was a deed of blood more terribly 
revenged, than the murder of the Christian Indians at the 
Moravian towns. "^ 

1 Doddridge's Notes, p. 280-281. 


194 COL. Clark's proposition. [Chap. XI. 


Clark's operations in the west. 

It has been seen that the army under Gen. Mcintosh, in- 
stead of checking or overawing the savages, did little more 
than stimulate them to further acts of hostility. Affairs now 
became alarming in the West. Bodies of fierce warriors 
prowled around the infant settlements of Virginia and Ken- 
tucky, and all saw the necessity of striking a vigorous blow 
against the savages and their white allies. Congress adhered 
to the policy of pushing an army against Detroit, but a mas- 
ter-mind in the West saw where a more effective blow could be 
given. George Rogers Clark, the "Hannibal of the 
West," had satisfied himself by personal observation, and 
through the agency of spies, that the British posts in Illinois 
could easily be taken, and at once laid open his whole scheme 
to Patrick Henry, then Governor of Virginia. His great 
mind readily comprehended all of Clark's proposed move- 
ments, and entering fully into the spirit, issued two sets of 
instructions, one open, authorizing him to enlist seven compa- 
nies to go to Kentucky, subject to his orders, and the other 
private : the success of the enterprise depending entirely 
upon the secrecy of the movement. None but the Virginia 
authorities and a few personal friends knew the real desti- 
nation of the troops. 

Proceeding to Pittsburg without delay. Col. Clark at- 
tempted to enlist as many men as possible, while at the same 
time Major Smith was engaged for a like purpose in the south- 
western part of Virginia. With three companies, a few 
private adventurers, and twelve hundred pounds in the de- 


predated currency of the country, Col. Clarke descended the 
Ohio to the Falls, and fortified Corn Island opposite, where 
Louisville now stands. Concealing his boats, he marched 
directly out toward Kaskaskia, which, after a fatiguing jour- 
ney of many days, part of the time subsisting upon roots, 
the intrepid leader and his little party reached in safety. 

Arriving before Kaskaskia in the night, they entered it, 
unseen and unheard, and took possession of the town and fort, 
without opposition. Kelying on the thick and wide extended 
forests which interposed between them and the American set- 
tlements, the inhabitants had been lulled to repose by fancied 
security, and were unconscious of danger until it had become 
too late to be avoided. Not a single individual escaped, to 
spread the alarm in the adjacent settlements. 

But there still remained other towns, higher up the Mis- 
sissippi, which, if unconquered, would aiBFord shelter to the 
savages and furnish them the means of annoyance and of 
ravage. Against these Colonel Clarke immediately directed 
operations. Mounting a detachment of men, on horses found 
at Kaskaskia, and sending them forward, three other towns 
were reduced with equal success. The obnoxious governor at 
Kaskaskia was sent to Virginia, with the written instructions 
which he had received from Quebec, Detroit and Mackinaw 
for exciting the Indians to war, and remunerating them for the 
blood which they might shed. 

Although the country within which Colonel Clark had 
so successfully carried on operations, was considered to be 
within the limits of Virginia ; yet as it was occupied by sava- 
ges and those who were but little, if any, less hostile than 
they ; and being so remote from her settlements, Virginia had 
as yet exercised no act of jurisdiction over it. But as it now 
belonged to her, by conquest as well as charter, the General 
Assembly created it into a distinct county, to be called Illi- 
nois ; a temporary government was likewise established in it, 
and a regiment of infantry and a troop of cavalry, ordered to 
be enlisted for its defence, and placed under the command of 
its intrepid and enterprising conqueror. 

News of the success of Clark in capturing the British posts 
in Illinois having reached Governor Hamilton at Detroit, he 
determined to re-take them, also to conquer Kentucky, West- 


ern Virginia, &c., and repel the rebels from the west. With 
this view, at the head of a large body of well-disciplined 
troops, he made his appearance in front of the garrison at Vin- 
cennes, which had also surrendered to Clark's orders, and then 
under the command of Captain Helm. The fort being in a 
miserable condition for defence, surrendered to Hamilton, but 
upon such terms as were highly honorable to the Virginia 
commandant. Clark was, of course, immediately apprized of 
these movements, and in the midst of winter this remarkable 
man started for fort St. Vincent, determined, as he expressed 
it, " That he would have Hamilton, or Hamilton should 
have him." After great labor and exposure, marching often 
through ice and water waist-deep, the gallant little army ap- 
peared in front of the fort, and demanded an immediate and 
unconditional surrender. The British governor, unwilling to 
risk an attack, gave up possession, and allowed himself to 
become a prisoner of war in the hands of Clark. The cap- 
ture of Hamilton, and the destruction of British power in the 
valley of the Wabash, and indeed in the whole west, south of 
Detroit, was one of the most important achievements during 
the war. As already intimated, great arrangements had been 
made by Hamilton for the successful prosecution of a cam- 
paign against all the white settlements in the west. The 
southern, western and northern^ Indians had joined him, and 
had Clark failed to defeat Hamilton, who can doubt but that 
the entire west, from the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, would 
have been swept over by the allied forces of British and 
Indians. But for this gallant body of imperfectly clothed and 
half starved Virginians, the project of Great Britain, so long 
one of the darling objects of her ambition, might have been 
carried out, and the whole current of our history changed. 

• Colonel stone, in his life of Brandt, says, that distinguished chieftain, 
with his warlike Iroquois, were to have acted in concert with the southern 
and western Indians. Vol. i. p. 400. 




With this chapter we close the historical details, by 
bringing down the settlement of the country to 1795. Some 
of the chapters immediately preceding, would seem to come 
more appropriately under the head of Part VI., but con- 
stituting as they do, connecting links in the history and set- 
tlement of the west, it was deemed inexpedient to separate 
them ; and thus they are given in regular historical and chro- 
nological order. That part of our work which we have dis- 
tinctly classified as "Indian Wars," is designed alone to 
embrace the incidents of border life in Western Virginia, and 
the territory immediately adjacent. 

By the treaty of Fort Stanwix, concluded October 22, 
1784, between the United States and hostile tribes of the 
Iroquois,^ all the claim of the great Northern Confederacy to 
lands lying west of the western boundary of Pennsylvania 
became extinguished. It now remained to treat with the 
Western Indians, to secure the United States' title to the 
great expanse of country lying west of the Iroquois pos- 

The Commissioners for this purpose were Arthur Lee, 
Richard Butler, and George Rogers Clark. This Board 
organized at Fort Mcintosh, (Beaver,) January 21, 1785. 
The Indians represented were the Wyandots, Delawares, 
Chippeways, and Ottoways, and of the native Commissioners 
there assembled to treat, was the celebrated war chief of the 

' Of the Sis Nations, tlie Senecas, Mohawks, Onondagos, and Cayugas 
had joined England ; but the Oneidas and Tuscaroi'as had not. 

198 ST. glair's expedition. [Chap. XII. 

Delawares, Buckongalielas.^ The third article of the treaty 
agreed upon defined the limits of the country ceded, as follows : 

Art. 3. The boundary line between the United States and 
the Wyandot and Delaware nations, shall begin at the mouth 
of the river Cayahoga, and run thence, up the said river, to 
the portage between that and the Tuscarawas branch of the 
Muskingum ; then, down the said branch, to the forks at the 
crossing place above Fort Lawrence, [Laurens;] then, wes- 
terly, to the portage of the Big Miami, which runs into the 
Ohio, at the mouth of which branch the fort stood which was 
taken by the French in one thousand seven hundred and fifty- 
two; then, along the said portage, to the Great Miami or 
Ome river, and down the south-east side of the same to its 
mouth; thence, along the south shore of Lake Erie, to the 
mouth of Cayahoga, where it began. 

Such were the first steps taken for securing to the United 
States the Indian title to the vast realm lying beyond the 

Hostilities still continuing on the part of the Indians, and 
the west having sufi"ered greatly. Congress authorized the 
President, September 29, 1789, to call out the militia to pro- 
tect the frontier, and break the power of the savages. On 
the 6th of October, President Washington directed General 
St. Clair, then Governor of the North -West Territory, to draw 
fifteen hundred men from the western counties of Viro-inia 
and Pennsylvania, and proceed directly against the towns of 
the hostile tribes on the Maumee. In obedience to his in- 
structions. Governor St. Clair called upon Virginia (July 15, 
1790,) for her quota,^ which was furnished in due time; 
and his army, numbering nearly twenty-four hundred men, 
marched from Fort Washington (Cincinnati,) in the fall of 
1791. On the morning of the 4th of November, the Indians 

1 We state this upon the authority of DaTvson, (Life of Harrison, p. 82,) 
as also of Thatcher, Butler, and others. 

2 According to the account of Mr. Perkins, "five hundred of the troops 
ordered out were directed to organize just below Wheeling." Where the 
point of rendezvous was, we have not been able to ascertain. 

1791.] WAYNE'S VICTORY. 199 

attacked him in great force, totally routing the American 
army, with an immense loss of life and property. General 
Butler, and upward of six hundred men were killed. 

This was a terrible blow to the west; and the savages, 
inflated with success, overspread the country, sending death 
into almost every settlement. 

Washington, determined to subdue the savages, now urged 
forward the vigorous prosecution of the war; but various ob- 
stacles prevented a speedy organization of a force sufficient 
to strike an efficient blow. It was not until the spring of 
1794, that an army, strong enough for the purpose, could be 
organized. This force, consisting of two thousand regular 
troops, and fifteen hundred mounted volunteers from Ken- 
tucky, assembled at Greenville, under the command of Gene- 
ral Anthony Wayne, a bold, energetic and determined officer, 
in whom Washington reposed every confidence. 

On the 20th of August, General Wayne encountered the 
enemy at the foot of the rapids on the Maumee, and after a 
short, but most deadly conflict, the Indians fled the field with 
great loss, and in utter confusion. 

This brilliant victory brought the savages to terms, and 
soon after, a permanent treaty was negotiated at Greenville, 
between eleven of the most powerful north-western tribes, and 
the ^Hhirteen fires,'' as these wild men called the United 
States. This treaty confirmed the boundary established at 
Fort Mcintosh, and extended westward from Loramie to 
Fort Recovery, and thence south-west to the mouth of Ken- 
tucky river. Now terminated the long and sanguinary strug- 
gle between the whites and Indians on the western frontier, 
a war which had raged with almost unabated fury for more 
than twenty years, involving a sacrifice of life, and consequent 
amount of misery, scarcely to be comprehended. 





Although this part of our -work is designed chiefly to em- 
brace the operations, by and against, the western Indians 
during the twenty years immediately preceding the treaty of 
Greenville, still we cannot pass without some notice those 
which occurred prior to the peace of November, 1774. Pre- 
mising this much, we will turn back the pages of history and 
briefly glance at some of the bolder acts in the bloody drama, 
performed on the then frontier of Virginia. 

Allusion has already been made to the irruptions of savages 
in the Valley of Virginia, during the years following Brad- 
dock's defeat. One of their earliest acts was the captivity 
of a Mrs. Neff on the south-branch of the Wappatomaca. 
Having secured their prisoner and helped themselves to some 
plunder, the savages (fourteen in number) left for their homes, 
by way of Fort Pleasant.^ On the second night, they reached 

1 This was a substantial stockade, •with block-houses at each corner. It 
stood on the south-branch of the Potomac, near what is known as the trough. 
This place is memorable as the scene of a desperate and bloody battle. 


the vicinity of the fort, and leaving Mrs. Neff in the care of 
an old Indian, the warriors separated into two parties, that 
they might better watch the fort. 

"At a late hour in the night, Mrs. Neff discovering that 
her guard was pretty soundly asleep, ran off. The old fellow 
very soon awoke, fired off his gun, and raised a yell. Mrs. 
N. ran between the two parties of Indians, got safe into Fort 
Pleasant, and gave notice where the enemy were encamped. 
A small party the same evening came from another fort a few 
miles above, and joined their friends in Fort Pleasant. After 
the escape of Mrs. N., the Indians collected into a deep glen, 
near the fort. Early the next morning, sixteen men, well 
mounted and armed, left the fort with a view to attack the 
Indians. They soon discovered their encampment by the 
smoke of their fire. The whites divided themselves into two 
parties, intending to enclos'e the Indians, but unfortunately, 
a small dog which followed them, starting a rabbit, alarmed 
the Indians, upon which they cautiously moved off, passed 
between the two parties of white men unobserved, took a posi- 
tion between them and their horses, and opened a most de- 
structive fire. The whites returned the fire with great firmness 
and bravery, and a desperate and bloody conflict ensued. 
Seven of the whites fell dead, and four were wounded. The 
others retreated to the fort. Three Indians fell in this battle, 
and several were wounded. The victors secured the white 
men's horses, and took them off. This was called the battle 
of the Trough. 

Just before the above action commenced, Mr. Vanmeter, 
an old man, mounted his horse, rode upon a high ridge, and 
witnessed the battle. He returned with all speed to the fort, 
and gave notice of the defeat." 

These repeated depredations of the savages. Induced Gov. 
Dinwiddle, early in 1756, to order an expedition against the 
Indian towns on the Ohio. Maj. Andrew Lewis was appointed 
to command this expedition, and directed to proceed against 
the Shawanese villages near the mouth of the Great Kanawha. 


Major Lewis led his men througli great peril and suffering 
within a few miles of the Ohio, when a message ordering a 
return of the expedition reached him. The whole party suf- 
fered intensely during this march, and once were reduced to 
the necessity of cutting their buffalo skins into tugs and 
eating them ; hence the name of Tug river.-^ 

The Indians having noticed the advance and return of this 
expedition, naturally supposed that it was deemed unsafe to 
penetrate the Indian country with a force so inadequate to 
the duty before them ; and thus elated, pushed their acts of 
depredation with increased fury. They struck across the 
mountains by way of the Kanawha, Monongahela, Cheat, &c., 
carrying death to many a helpless family, and spreading alarm 
throughout the entire valley. 

In the summer of 1757, a body of Shawanese, led on by 
their celebrated chief Kill-buck, crossed the Alleghanies and 
committed various acts of depredation. Some thirty or forty 
of this party appeared in the neighborhood of Edward's fort 
and killed two men at a mill, whom they scalped, and then 
made off, taking with them a quantity of meal. Information 
having been conveyed to the fort, forty men, under Captain 
Mercer, started in pursuit of the murderers. The Indians, 
expecting this, concealed themselves beneath a bank and 
awaited the approach of the whites. As a decoy, they had 
strewn along the path some of the meal taken from the mill. 
Mercer's party discovering this, supposed the Indians were 
making a speedy retreat, and, not apprized of their strength, 

'Withers, in speaking of this expedition, calls it the "Sandy creek 
voyage," and places it in 1757. He also says, that one of its objects was to 
destroy the French town of Gallipolis, and that it returned, in obedience to 
the order of Governor Fauquier. Our venerable author has committed two 
or three most glaring errors in these few lines, which we feel it our duty to 
notice. The expedition did not take place in '57, but '56 ; the " hostile 
town of Gallipolis," which the Virginians were going to destroy, did not have 
an existence until nearly forty years afterwards ; and Governor Fauquier, 
whose orders it is alleged, countermanded the movement, did not arrive in 
Virginia from England, until June, 1758. 


moved on at a brisk step, until the •whole party were drawn 
immediately over the line of Indians beneath the bank, when 
the latter opened a most destructive fire upon them, sixteen 
falling dead at the first discharge. The others attempting to 
save themselves by flight, were pursued and slaughtered in 
every direction, until, out of the forty, but six escaped to the 
fort. One poor fellow, who ran up the side of the mountain, 
was fired at by an Indian ; the ball penetrated just above his 
heel, ranged up his leg, shivering the bones, and lodged a 
little below his knee ; he slipped under the lap of a fallen 
tree and there hid himself, and lay in that situation for two 
days and nights before he was discovered by his friends. It 
was that length of time before the people at the fort would 
venture out to collect and bury the dead. This wounded man 
recovered, and lived many years after. 

Some time afterwards, the Indians, in much greater force, 
and aided, it was believed, by several whites, determined to 
carry this fort by storm. The garrison had been considerably 
reinforced ; among others, by the late Gen. Daniel Morgan, 
then a young man. The Indians made the assault with great 
boldness ; but on this occasion they met with a sad reverse of 
fortune. The garrison sallied out, and a desperate battle 
ensued. The assailants were defeated with great slaughter, 
while the whites lost comparatively but few men.^ 

These constant inroads of the savages induced the people 
to erect suitable forts at convenient points. Many of 
these little stockades arose along the Valley, which greatly 
served to protect the inhabitants and restrain the savages. 
Of these were Ashby's, on Patterson creek, near the present 
town of Frankfort ; Hedges, on the road from Martinsburg 
to Bath ; Riddel's and Warden's, on Lost river ; George's, 
near Petersburg, &c. 

During the following year, (1758,) the savages again re- 

' This stockade was on the west side of Capon river, not far from where 
the present road from Winchester to Romney crosses. 


appeared east of the mountains, and spread desolation and 
terror wherever they went. These visitations, doubtless for 
better security, were generally made in large parties, and 
their presence could not but create alarm among the sparsely 
populated settlements. The following account of one of these 
marauding parties, we take from the interesting local history 
of that region, A party of about fifty Indians, penetrated the 
neighborhood of Mill creek, about nine miles south of Wood- 
stock. This was pretty thickly settled; and among other 
houses, Greorge Painter had erected a large log one, with a 
good sized cellar. On the alarm being given, the neighboring 
people took refuge in this house. Late in the afternoon they 
were attacked. Mr. Painter, attempting to fly, had three 
balls shot through his body, and fell dead, when the others 
surrendered. The Indians dragged the dead body back to 
the house, threw it in, plundered the house of what they 
chose, and then set fire to it. While the house Avas in flames, 
consuming the body of Mr. Painter, they forced from the 
arms of their mothers four infant children, hung them up in 
trees, shot them in savage sport, and left them hanging. 
They then set fire to a stable containing sheep and calves. 
After these atrocities they moved ofi" with forty-eight pri- 
soners ; among whom were Mrs. Painter, five of her daughters, 
and one of her sons ; a Mrs. Smith and several of her child- 
ren ; a Mr. Fisher and several of his children, among them a 
lad of twelve or thirteen years old, a fine well grown boy, and 
remarkably fleshy. This little fellow, it will presently be seen, 
was destined to be the victim of savage cruelty. 

Two of Painter's sons, and a young man by the name of 
Jacob Myers, escaped. One of the Painters, with Myers, 
ran over that night to Powell's fort, a distance of at least 
fifteen miles, and to Keller's fort, for aid. A small party of 
men set out early the next morning, well mounted and armed. 
They reached Mr. Painter's early in the day ; but on learning 
the strength of the Indians, they declined going in pursuit, 
as they were too weak to follow. 


After six days' travel they reached their villages, and held 
a council, when it was determined to sacrifice their helpless 
prisoner, Jacob Fisher. They first ordered him to collect a 
quantity of dry wood. The poor little fellow shuddered, 
burst into tears, and told his father they intended to burn 
him. His father replied, "I hope not;" and advised him to 
obey. When he had collected a sufficient quantity of wood 
to answer their purpose, they cleared and smoothed a ring 
around a sapling, to which they tied him by one hand, then 
formed a trail of wood around the tree, and set it on fire. 
The poor boy was then compelled to run round in this ring of 
fire until his rope wound him up to the sapling, and then back 
until he came in contact with the flame, whilst his infernal 
tormentors were drinking, singing, and dancing around him, 
with "horrid joy." This was continued for several hours; 
during which time the wretches became beastly drunk, and 
as they fell to the ground, their squaws would keep up the 
fire. With long sharp poles, they pierced the body of their 
victim whenever he flagged, until the poor and helpless boy 
fell and expired with the most excruciating torments, whilst 
his father and brothers were compelled to be witnesses of the 
heart-rending tragedy. 

After an absence of about three years, Mrs. Painter, with 
her son and two of her daughters ; Mrs. Smith, who had the 
honor, if it could be so deemed, of presenting her husband 
with an Indian son,^ by a distinguished chief; Fisher, and his 
surviving sons, with several others, returned home. Three of 
Mrs. Painter's daughters remained with the Indians ; one of 
whom, after many years captivity, returned. The others 
married and spent their lives with their swarthy companions. 

In connection with this, we may state, that a most re- 

1 Smith received Ms wife, and never maltreated her on this account ; but 
he had a most bitter aversion to the young chief. The boy grew up. to man- 
hood, and exhibited the appearance and disposition of his sire. Attempts 
were made to educate him, but without success. He enlisted into the army 
of the Revolution as a common soldier, and never returned. 

1758.] ^ INDIAN SUBTLETY. 207 

markable feature of the Indian life, was the peculiar power of 
fascination which it exercised over those subjected to its 
influence. Other instances are upon record which show that 
this attachment to the allurements of savage life, was often 
astonishing. The following will serve as an illustration. 

About the year 1758, a man by the name of John Stone, 
near what is called the White House, in the Hawksbill settle- 
ment, was killed by Indians. Stone's wife, with her infant 
child and a son about seven or eight years old, and George 
Grandstaff, a youth of sixteen years old, were taken prisoners. 
On the south-branch Mountain, the Indians murdered Mrs. 
Stone and her infant, but took the boy and Grandstaff to 
their towns. Grandstaff remained about three years a prisoner. 
The boy Stone grew up with the Indians, came home, and 
after obtaining possession of his father's property, sold it, got 
the money, returned to the Indians and was never heard of 



There is no accomplishment which the Indian warrior more 
delights in than that of strategy. Studying from boyhood to 
excel in this particular, he often becomes so skilful as to out- 
wit his more cautious, and frequently less sagacious antago- 
nist. Where, in ancient or modern history, do we find schemes 
better matured and more successfully executed than those of 
Pontiac ? The capture of Mackinaw never has been surpassed 
for ingenuity and skill ; while the terrible catastrophe at fort 
Massac, stands without a precedent either among civilized or 
savage men. The famed wooden horse of old, from whose 
capacious body issued the armed foe against the astonished 
and bewildered Trojans, was but a dull idea compared with the 
admirable finesse of the American savage on the lower Ohio, 
or northern lake. ,We premise this much, to introduce a case 
of fatal subtlety in our own State, — the capture of a small 



[Chap. I. 

frontier post known as Seybert's fort, which stood on the 
south-branch of the Potomac, about twelve miles west of the 
present town of Franklin, in Pendleton county. It was a rude 
enclosure, cut out of the heart of the forest, but sufficiently 
strong to have resisted any attack from the enemy had the 
inmates themselves but been strong. Our artist has given a 
very correct representation of this early and memorable for- 
tress, the history of which fills such a dark page in the annals 
of Virginia. 

Seybert's fort served as a place of resort for the people of 
all the adjoining settlements. Into this they gathered in times 
of threatening danger, and remained during the seasons when 



the Indians were most troublesome. In May, 1758, a party 
of Shawanese invested the fort, and demanded a surrender. 
Finding neither threatening words nor bullets of any avail, 
the cunning savages, after two days' trial, resorted to stra- 
tegy, and, unhappily, with most fatal success. They made 
various propositions to the besieged to give up, and their 
lives should be spared; if not, the siege should be continued 
and every soul massacred. 

The promise of safety lured the unfortunate victims from 
their line of duty, and they yielded quiet possession of the fort. 
There were thirty persons at the time within the enclosure, 
and these the savages proceeded to secure. Instantly the 
whites realized the horror of their situation, and saw the 
inevitable doom which awaited them. In a moment of false 
security, they trusted to the promise of savages, and now 
were about to pay the folly with their lives. Of the whole 
number, all were massacred but eleven. Various accounts of 
the mode of massacre have been given, but the following is 
doubtless most correct. Ten, whom they wished to save, were 
secured and removed from the fort, the others were tied hand 
and foot, and seated in a continuous line upon a log. Behind 
each of the unfortunates stood a stalwart savage, who, at a 
given signal, sunk his tomahawk through the skull of his 
quivering victim. The work was soon finished, and the fort 
destroyed. This horrible scene was witnessed by a youth 
named Dyer, who was spared, although not of the number 
removed from the limits of the fort. He was taken to Logs- 
town, on the Ohio, and thence to the Shawanee towns on the 
Scioto. After nearly two years' captivity he escaped, and 
made his way home. Of the other ten borne off as prisoners, 
nothing satisfactory is known. 

It was during this year (1758) that an incident occurred near 
the present village of Petersburg, in Hardy, which stands 
without a parallel in modern history. A man named Binga- 
man lived with his family in a cabin, remote from any 
neighbors. He had been cautioned against the Indians ; but, 



a man of most determined resolution and herculean strength, 
he laughed at the idea of fear, and said, no cut-throat savages 
should ever drive him from his home. In the fall of this 
year, a party of eight Indians made a descent upon his 
cabin, late at night, while all the family were asleep. Before 
Bingaman was aware of his danger, the savages had forced 
the door, and were in the house. Mrs. Bingaman, the 
younger,^ was shot through the left breast, but not danger- 
ously wounded. Bingaman got his parents, wife and child 
beneath the bed, and then prepared for battle. The hired man 
was called down, but refused to come. The room was dark, 
and having discharged his gun, he commenced beating about 
at random with his heavy rifle. In this manner he fought with 
the desperation of a giant, and terribly did his blows tell 
upon the enemy. One after another he beat down before him, 
until finally, of the eight, but one remained, and he, terror- 
stricken, made from the house, and escaped to tell his tribe, 
that he had met with a man who was a " perfect devil." The 
intrepid Virginian had actually killed seven of his foes, which 
certainly, is unexampled in the history of single-handed com- 
bat. During the fight, the Indians frequently grappled their 
powerful antagonist, but were unable to keep him down, as 
early in the engagement he had pulled ofi" his shirt. In the 
morning, when he found that his wife was wounded, he be- 
came so exasperated at the cowardice of the hired man that 
he would have killed him, had not Mrs. Bingaman interposed 
to save his life. 

Bingaman afterwards moved to Natchez, where his son 
Adam, who was a lad at the time of the fight, had previously 
moved, and there he (the elder) died. Most of these facts we 
have derived personally from the venerable William Darby, 
of Washington city, who knew both the Bingamans at Nat- 
chez, and heard from each of them a recital of the incidents 

■■ The family consisted of Bingaman, his wife, child, and parents, who slept 
down staii'S, and a hired man who slept above. 

1758.] JUST REBUKE. 211 

of that terrible fight. Kercheval gives a somewhat different 
version, but we have every reason to believe that our account 
is in the main correct. We find in Kercheval another inci- 
dent illustrative of the energy and courage of this man, which 
we give. A party of whites (of whom Bingaman was one) had 
started in pursuit of some retreating Indians. They were 
overtaken late at night, and the pursuing party dismounting, 
the captain ordered Bingaman to remain with the horses, 
whilst the rest made the attack. This he refused, and 
followed after the company. " To make the destruction 
of the enemy more certain, it was deemed advisable to wait 
until daylight before they began the attack; but a young 
man, whose zeal overcame his discretion, fired into the group, 
upon which the Indians sprung to their feet and fled. Binga- 
man singled out a fellow of giant-like size, whom he pursued, 
.throwing aside his rifle that his speed might not be retarded, 
— passed several smaller Indians in the chase — came up with 
him — and with a single blow of his hatchet cleft his skull. 
When Bingaman returned to the battle-ground, the captain 
sternly observed, 'I ordered you to stay and guard the 
horses.' Bingaman as sternly replied, 'You are a rascal, sir; 
you intended to disgrace me ; and one more insolent word, 
and you shall share the fate of that Indian,' pointing towards 
the one he had just slain. The captain quailed under the stern 
menace, and held his peace. The captain and Bingaman had, 
a few days before, had a falling out. Several Indians fell in 
this affair, while the whites lost none of their party." 

The Indian depredations, during this and the following 
years, were particularly fatal on the frontier settlements of 
Virginia. Many families suffered severely and terribly. Of 
these we will give a few as we find them related by the His- 
torian of the Valley. He gives many interesting incidents 
connected with the early settlement of that part of Virginia, 
which cannot but be interesting to the readers of the present 

In this year (1764), a party of eighteen Delawares crossed 


the mountains. Furman's Fort was about one mile above 
hanging-rock, on the South Branch. William Furman and 
Nimrod Ashby had gone out from the fort to watch a deer lick 
in the Jersey mountains.^ The Indians discovered and killed 
them both, and passed on into the county of Frederick, 
where they divided into two parties. One party of eight 
moved on to Cedar creek settlement; the other of ten attacked 
the people in the neighborhood of the present residence of 
Maj. John White. On this place a stockade was erected. The 
people in the neighborhood had taken the alarm, and were on 
their way to this fort, when assaulted by these Indians. They 
killed David Jones and his wife. Also some of Mrs. Thomas' 
family, and carried off one of the daughters. An old man, 
named Lloyd, and his wife, and several of his children, were 
killed. Esther Lloyd, their daughter, about thirteen years 
old, received three tomahawk wounds in the head, was scalped, 
and left lying, supposed to be dead. Henry Clouser and two 
of his sons were killed, and his wife and four of his daughters 
taken. The youngest daughter was about two years old; 
and as she impeded the mother's travelling, they dashed her 
brains out against a tree, in the presence of the agonized 
parent. Mrs. Thomas was taken to the Wappatomaka ; but 
the river being pretty full, and deep fording, they encamped 
near Furman's fort for the night. The next morning a party 
of white men fired off their guns at the fort, which alarmed 
the Indians, and they hurried across the river, assisting all 
their female prisoners, except Mrs. Thomas, who being quite 
stout and strong, was left to struggle for herself. The current, 
however, proved too strong for her, and she floated down the 
river — but lodged against a rock, upon which she crawled, 
and saved herself from drowning. 

The other party of eight Indians committed several murders 
on Cedar creek. It is probable this party killed a Mr. Lyle, 
a Mr. Butler, and some others. Mr. Ellis Thomas, the hus- 

' So called from its being first settled by an immigration from New Jersey. 


band of the woman wliose story has just been given, was killed 
the preceding harvest. This party of eight Indians took off 
two female prisoners, but were pursued by some white men, 
overtaken in the South Branch mountain, fired upon, and 
one of the Indians killed. The others fled, leaving their 
guns, prisoners and plunder. 

The same year, (1764,) a party of eight Indians, with a 
white man by the name of Abraham Mitchell, killed George 
Miller, his wife and two children, within two miles of Strasburg. 
They also the same day killed John Dellinger, and took his 
wife, with her infant child, prisoners. In crossing Sandy 
ridge,west of Capon river, this child had its brains beaten out 
against a tree. A party of white men pursued them, over- 
took them in the South Branch mountains, fired upon them, 
and killed one, when the others fled, leaving every thing 

In the latter part of this year, (1765,) the Indians made their 
appearance in the neighborhood of Woodstock. They killed 
an old man who, with some women and children, was making 
his way to the fort at Woodstock. His name was George 

Shortly before this, two Indians were discovered lurking 
in the neighborhood of Mill creek. Matthias Painter, John 
Painter, and William Moore, armed themselves, and went in 
pursuit. They had not proceeded far, before they approached 
a large fallen pine, with a very bushy top. As they neared 
it, Matthias Painter observed, " We had better look sharp ; 
it is quite likely the Indians are concealed under the tops of 
this tree." He had scarcely uttered the words before one of 
them rose up and fired. The ball grazed the temple of John 
Painter. Moore and Painter fired at the same instant ; one 
of their balls passed through the Indian's body, and he fell, 
as they supposed, dead enough. The other fellow fled. The 
white men pursued him some distance ; but the fugitive was 
too fleet for them. Finding they could not overhaul him, they 
gave up the chase and returned to the pine tree : but to their 
astonishment, the supposed dead Indian had moved off with 


both guns and a large pack of skins. They pursued his trail, 
and when he found they were gaining upon him, he got into 
a sink hole, and as soon as they approached, commenced 
firing at them. He had poured out a quantity of powder on 
dry leaves, filled his mouth with bullets, and using a musket 
which was a self-primer, he was enabled to load and fire with 
astonishing quickness. He thus fired at least thirty times 
before they could get a chance to dispatch him. At last Mr. 
Moore got an opportunity, and shot him through the head. 
Moore and Painter had many disputes which gave the fellow 
the first wound. Painter, at length, yielded, and Moore got 
the premium allowed by law for Indian scalps. 

The fugitive who made his escape, unfortunately met with 
a young woman on horseback, named Sethon, whom he tore 
from her horse, and forced ofi" with him. This occurred near 
the present town of Newmarket, and after travelling about 
twenty miles, it is supposed the captive broke down from 
fatigue, and the savage monster beat her to death with a 
heavy pine knot. Her screams were heard by some people 
who lived upwards of a mile from this scene of horror, and 
who next day, on going to the place to ascertain the cause, 
found her stripped and weltering in her blood. 

Allusion has been made in another part of this volume to 
the murder of the three Eckarlys, brothers, who, in 1755, 
settled on what is now known as Dunker's bottom. Cheat 
river. The circumstances were about these. Dr. Thomas 
Eckarly and his two brothers, all members of that peculiar 
Christian sect called Bunkers, visited the west, and erected 
a cabin, soon after the murder of the unfortunate Files 
family, to which reference has elsewhere been made. The 
three brothers continued to occupy undisturbed, for a number 
of years, their peaceful and quiet possessions. Growing short 
of ammunition, &c., the elder brother went on a trading ex- 
pedition to the east. In returning, he stopped at Fort 
Pleasant, and there not being a very friendly feeling enter- 

1764.] ORIGIN OF "LONG-KNIVES." 215 

tained by many of the hardy bordermen toward this singular 
sect, he was detained on a charge of being in alliance with 
the Indians. At length, however, it was determined to send 
a guard along with him, and if their suspicions were rightly 
founded, he was to be brought back and dealt with accord- 
ingly. In due time the escort reached the site of the humble 
cabin in the forest, but, alas ! the destroyer had been there, 
and nothing remained but the half-consumed bodies of the 
unfortunate brothers. 

A FEW years subsequent to this, several settlers on the 
Monongahela, near the mouth of Decker's creek, were cut off 
by a party of Delawares. Of these, were Thomas Decker, 
from whom the creek derives its name. But two or three 
of the settlers escaped, and one of these, making his 
way to Red-stone old fort, (Brownsville,) gave information 
of the catastrophe. The commandant, Captain Paull, de- 
spatched a message to Fort Pitt, conveying intelligence of 
the visitation, and notifying Colonel Gibson of the probable 
direction taken by the savages on their retreat. Colonel 
Gibson, leaving the garrison in command of a subordinate 
officer, passed rapidly down the river, hoping to intercept 
them. In this, however, he failed; but came accidentally 
upon a small party of Mingoes, encamped on Cross creek. 
Little Eagle, a distinguished chief of that tribe, commanded 
the party, and discovering the whites about the same time 
that Gibson saw them, he gave a fearful whoop, and at the 
same instant discharged his gun at the leader of the whites. 
The ball passed through Gibson's coat, but without injuring 
him. With the quickness of a tiger he sprang upon his foe, 
and with one sweep of his sword, severed the head of Little 
Eagle from his body. Two others were shot dead by the 
whites, but the remainder escaped, and reported that the 
white captain had cut off the head of their chief with a long 
hnife. This was the origin of that celebrated and fearfully 
significant term, the "long-knives." It was applied through- 


out the war to tlie Virginians, and even to this day has not 
been forgotten by some of the 'western tribes. Captain Gib- 
son, himself a Virginian, acquired the soubriquet of " Long- 
knife warrior," and was known by it always afterward. 

In the Summer of 1761, there was an irruption of savages 
into the James river settlement, attended with most fatal 
results. The party embraced about fifty Shawanese warriors. 
On Purgatory creek, they killed Thomas Perry, Joseph 
Dennis, and a child ; taking the wife of Dennis prisoner. 
Thence they proceeded to the house of Robert Renick, making 
prisoner of Mrs. Renick and her five children. Mr. Renick 
being absent at the time, escaped, but only to fall at another 
place. Proceeding to a near neighbor, where Mr. Renick hap- 
pened to be, they there killed him, and a man named Thomas 
Smith, making captives of Smith's wife and a girl named Sally 
Jew. At the time these murderous proceedings were going on, 
three men (Gleorge Matthews, afterwards so distinguished in 
the battles of Point Pleasant and Germantown, with two bro- 
thers by the name of Maxwell,) rode up to the house, and dis- 
covering the dead bodies of Smith and Renick lying in the 
yard, made quick their retreat, but not before the Indians had 
noticed their movements, and fired after them. One of the 
Maxwells was slightly wounded in the arm. Mrs. Renick, on 
her return to her friends, after a captivity of five years, said 
the Indians saw the three men approach, and as they checked 
up their horses at the fence, four of the Indians detailed for 
that purpose, took aim, but the whites suddenly wheeling 
their horses, saved their lives. 

A party of the savages, twenty in number, were despatched 
with their prisoners for the Ohio, whilst the remainder pene- 
trated further into the country to renew their depredations. 
The alarm, however, had been sounded, and such of the 
inhabitants as lived convenient, collected at Paull's fort. 
Leaving five men to take care of the fort, a party of twenty- 
two, headed by Matthews, went in pursuit. They were soon 


overhauled, and after a severe figbt, compelled to give 
way. In consequence of the intense darkness of the night, 
it was found impossible to pursue the enemy further, and 
the Indians rejoining their companions, made good their 
escape with prisoners and booty. Nine Indians and three 
whites were killed in the engagement, all of whom were de- 
cently buried. 

Of the prisoners, Mrs. Eenick and two of her sons were 
ransomed in 1766 ; one died in captivity ; another intermar- 
ried with the Indians and became a chief; and a third settled 
on the Scioto, near Chillicothe, frcm whom has sprung an 
extensive and highly respectable family. Hannah Dennis 
made her escape after two years' captivity. 

It was during this year (1763) that two of the Greenbriar 
settlements, (Mudly creek, and Big Levels,) were entirely 
cut off. A party of some fifty or sixty Shawanese, supposed 
to have been headed by Cornstalk, penetrated the country 
under the garb of friendship, and as no recent hostilities had 
taken place in that region, the inhabitants fondly believed 
there was no danger. With this fatal security, they received 
the savages warmly and extended them every reasonable 
hospitality. Suddenly, they fell upon the men, butchering 
every one of them, and then made captives of the women and 
children. They next visited the Levels, where Archibald 
Clendenin had erected a rude block house, and where were 
gathered quite a number of families. Here the Indians were 
again entertained with hospitality. Mr. Clendenin had just 
brought in three fine elk, upon which the savages feasted 
sumptuously. One of the inmates was a decrepid old woman, 
with an ulcerated limb ; she undressed the member, and 
asked an Indian if he could cure it. "Yes," he replied, and 
immediately sunk his tomahawk into her head. This was the 
signal, and instantly every man in the house was put to 


The cries of the women and children alarmed a man in the 
yard, who escaped and reported the circumstances to the 
settlement at Jackson's river. The people were loth to believe 
him, as the character of the Indians had been so peaceable. 
Soon, however, they were convinced, for the savages appeared 
and many of the fleeing families were massacred without 
mercy. The prisoners were then marched off in direction 
of the Ohio. Mrs. Clendenin proved herself in that trying 
moment a woman fit to be one of the mothers of the west. 
Indignant at the treachery and cowardly conduct of the 
wretches, she did not fail to abuse them from the chief down, 
in the most unmeasured manner. The savages, to intimidate 
her, would flap the bloody scalp of her dead husband against 
her face, and significantly twirl their tomahawks above her 
head, but still the courageous woman talked to them like one 
who felt her injuries, and feeling, resolved to express them. 
On the day after her captivity, she saw an opportunity to 
escape, and giving her infant to a woman, slipped unobserved 
into a thicket. The child soon beginning to cry, one of the 
Indians inquired concerning the mother, but getting no satis- 
factory reply, swore he would "bring the cow to the calf," 
and taking the infant by the heels dashed out its brains 
against a tree. Mrs. C. returned to her desolate home, and 
secured the remains of her husband from the rapacious jaws 
of the wild animals with which the woods abounded. 

It is stated that a black woman in escaping from Mr. 
Clendenin' s house, killed her own child to prevent its cries 
attracting the attention of the savages. 

Such were some of the horrid realities felt and endured by 
the first settlers of Western Virginia. 

In October of this year, (1764,) a party of forty or fifty 
Mingo and Delaware Indians crossed the Ohio, and ascend- 
ing Great Sandy came over on New river, where they 
separated, and forming two parties, directed their steps 


toward different settlements — one party going towards Roan- 
oke and Catawba, the other in the direction of Jackson's 
river. They had not long passed, when their trail was dis- 
covered by three men, (Swope, Pack and Pitman,) who were 
trapping on New river. These men followed the trail till they 
came to where the Indian party divided ; and judging from 
the routes taken, that their object was to visit the Roanoke 
and Jackson's river settlements, they determined to apprize 
the inhabitants of their danger. Swope and Pack started for 
Roanoke and Pitman for Jackson's river. But before they 
could accomplish their object, the Indians had reached the 
settlements on the latter river, and on Catawba. 

The party which came to Jackson's river, travelled down 
Dunlap's creek and crossed James river, above Fort Young, 
in the night and unnoticed ; and going down this river to 
William Carpenter's, where was a stockade fort under the 
care of a Mr. Brown, they met Carpenter just above his 
house and killed him. They immediately proceeded to the 
house, and made prisoners of a son of Mr. Carpenter, two 
sons of Mr. Brown, (all small) and one woman — the others 
belonging to the house were in the field at work. The 
Indians then despoiled the house and taking off some 
horses, commenced a precipitate retreat — fearing discovery 
and pursuit. 

When Carpenter was shot, the report of the gun was heard 
by those at work in the field ; and Brown carried the alarm 
to Fort Young and Fort Dinwiddle. Captain Paul, com- 
manding the latter, immediately started with twenty men in 
pursuit. On Indian creek they met Pitman almost exhausted. 
The pursuit was kept up, but the savages escaped. 

As Captain Paul and his men were returning, they acci- 
dentally met with the other party of Indians, who had been 
to Catawba, and committed some depredations and murders 
there. They were discovered about midnight, encamped on 
the north bank of New river, opposite an island at the mouth 
of Indian creek. Excepting some few who were watching 


three prisoners, (whom they had taken on Catawba, and who 
were sitting in the midst of them,) they were lying around a 
small fire, wrapped in skins and blankets. Paul's men not 
knowing that there were captives among them, fired in the 
midst, killed three Indians, and wounded several others, one 
of whom drowned himself to preserve his scalp — the rest of 
the party fled hastily down the river and escaped. 

Several captives were released, and considerable plunder 
recovered. To show the deadening effect of these terrible 
scenes upon the human mind, we will copy the reply of a 
prisoner rescued at this time. She was a Mrs. Gunn, an 
English woman, and had known Captain Paul years before. 
Recognizing his voice, she called him by name, just as one of 
his men, who supposed her to be a squaw, was in the act of 
tomahawking her. She made no resistance, and when asked the 
reason replied, " I had as soon be killed as not — my husband 
is murdered — my children are slain — my parents are dead. I 
have not a relation in America — everything dear to me here 
is gone — I have no wishes — no hopes — no fears — I would not 
have risen to my feet to save my life." 

Such were some of the horrors experienced on the frontier 
in the early settlement of the country. The above facts we 
derive chiefly from Withers. 


This, the far-famed hloody-year, and the " year of the three 
sevens," as the old pioneers were accustomed to call it, is full 
of painful incidents to hundreds of families in North-Western 
Virginia. It was, indeed, the most terrible year the early 
settlers ever experienced. Dark, mysterious clouds of malig- 
nant spirits hung upon the horizon, threatening every mo- 
ment to overwhelm and exterminate the half-protected pio- 
neer in his wilderness home. At length the storm broke over 
them, and scarcely a settlement in the great Valley of the 


West that did not experience its fatal and terrible effect. The 
fury of the savages during this year seemed to have no bounds. 
The wretched inhabitants were massacred with every conceiv- 
able cruelty. Men, women, and children were chosen objects 
of their revenge, and scarcely a settlement west of the Alle- 
ghanies that escaped their visits and their fury. The alarm 
became great, and terror seemed to seize upon the entire 
population. Block-houses were hastily thrown up, and many 
who could, moved their families to Red-stone, and other points 
on the Monongahela; but still, there were hundreds left to 
endure all the anticipated horrors of an Indian invasion. 

The Indians separated into what were termed " scalping 
parties," and penetrated the country at various points. One 
of their first acts along the Monongahela was to visit the 
house of a Mr. Grigsly, on West Fork, and carry off his wife 
and two children. Mr. Grigsby was absent at the time ; but 
returning soon after, and missing his family, suspected the 
true cause, although no injury had been done to either the 
house or furniture. Securing the services of some of his 
neighbors, pursuit was immediately given. Keeping the trail 
about six miles, the horror-stricken husband came suddenly 
upon the ghastly forms of his murdered wife and child. The 
savages, finding Mrs. Grigsby unable to travel on account 
of her delicate situation, most inhumanly tomahawked her, 
together with her youngest child. 

The almost frantic husband and parent, burning for re- 
venge, rushed on with a few select men, but the savages 
suspecting a pursuit, divided into small parties, and so 
effectually covered their trail, that all efforts to trace them 
were unsuccessful, and the pursuit had to be given up. 

This was but the commencement of such scenes of blood 
along the Monongahela. A short time after this occurrence, 
a Miss Coons, whose father erected Coons' fort, went into the 
field to turn some hemp which lay near the fort. While there 
engaged, two young men, Thomas Cunningham and Enoch 
James, approached, and after a short conversation, went on. 
They had not gone far before the report of a gun was heard, 


and on looking round saw two Indians standing near Miss 
Coons, one of whom was in the act of scalping his unfortunate 
victim. Pursuit was immediately given, but the savages 
eluded every effort to trace them. One of the young men 
fired at the retreating murderer, but without success. 

Western Pennsylvania suffered in common this year with 
Western Virginia. Scalping parties overran the settlements 
along the lower Monongahela and its tributaries. The 
settlements within the region now embraced in Wash- 
ington, Alleghany, and Westmoreland counties suffered 
severely. As it was known that the Indians who committed 
these depredations crossed the Alleghany river, it was deter- 
mined to erect a fort at some convenient point on that stream, 
supposing that the presence of a small garrison would have 
the effect to check the movements of the enemy in that quar- 
ter. Accordingly, Colonel William Crawford, whose melan- 
choly fate a few years later thrilled the whole country with 
horror, visited the Alleghany for the purpose of selecting a 
proper location for the proposed fort. He decided to place it 
near the mouth of Puckety creek, about seventeen miles above 
Fort Pitt. The fort was immediately built, and called Craw- 
ford, in honor of its projector. Several others were erected 
about this time along the Loyalhanna, Kiskeminitas, Cheat, 
Ten-mile, Pidgeon creek, &c. &c. The effect of the erection 
of this fort may have been to force the Indians lower down, 
and such was doubtless the fact. Large parties of them 
found their way into Virginia at points below, and their 
operations in this quarter were more extensive, particularly 
in the neighborhood of Wheeling, (which we shall presently 
notice) than was ever before undertaken. The whole combined 
force of the western confederated tribes seemed directed against 
this particular section. 

Early in April, a man named Rodger McBride, was killed 
and scalped, about ten miles up Wheeling creek, which caused 
considerable excitement, and induced Colonel Morgan, United 

1777.] SIEGE OF PORT HENRY. 253 

States Indian Agent for the middle department, to communi- 
cate the fact by letter to Colonel Crawford, under date April 
10. About the same time, another murder was committed 
near where Bridgeport now stands, (opposite Wheeling). 


The fall of 1777, so memorable in the annals of the West, 
was remarkable for nothing more than the united and deter- 
mined attack, by the combined arms of British and Indians, 
against the stockade at Wheeling, Virginia. 

The eloquent Chatham was never more right, than when 
he denounced the alliance between Britain and the American 
savages as a "disgrace, — a deep and deadly sin." That 
act, "connected as it was with the execrable scalp bounty, will 
stand a living stigma upon her name and history as long as 
time lasts. 

Early in the month of August, fears began to be felt by 
the settlers, as flying reports occasionally reached them, that 
the Indians were gathering in great numbers, and it seemed 
certain they meditated an attack during the approaching 
autumn. Every precaution was taken to guard against an 
insidious attack. Scouting parties were kept out, who, with 
the sleepless vigilance of well trained spies, watched all the 
movements of the enemy. Information had been conveyed 
to General Hand, commanding at Fort Pitt, by some friendly 
Moravian Indians, who received it frOm Isaac Zane, brother 
of Colonel Ebenezer Zane,^ that a large army of Indians, 
composed chiefly of warriors from the great North-Western 
confederacy, were making vigorous preparations to strike an 
efiective and terrible blow upon some of the settlements on 
the Ohio. It was further stated, that this chosen body of 

1 See Note A. end of Chap. I. 

2 j^m. State Papers, xvi. 93-121. 


savages would be under the command of Simon Grirty, a man 
whose known relentless ferocity toward his foresworn country- 
men, could not but add to the fearful prospect before them. 

General Hand lost no time in widely disseminating the 
information thus obtained. 

As it was uncertain where the expected blow would fall, all 
was activity, fear and alarm at the several little half-finished 
fortresses stretching at distances from one to two hundred 
miles, between Fort Pitt and the Great Kanawha. But it 
soon became manifest at what point the enemy designed to 
strike. With apprehensions of dread, the settlers at the 
mouth of- Wheeling, (numbering about thirty families,) betook 
themselves to their fort, and with calm resolution awaited the 

Early in the evening of the 31st of August, Capt. Joseph 
Ogle, who had been sent out some days before, at the head of 
ten or fifteen men, to scout along the difierent routes usually 
followed by the Indians, returned to Wheeling, and reported 
no immediate cause of danger. 

The Indians, with their accustomed sagacity, suspecting 
that their movements might be watched, abandoned all the 
paths usually trodden, and dividing as they approached the 
river, into small distinct parties, struck out along new lines 
for the Ohio. Without discovery, they reached the vicinity 
of Bogg's island, (two miles below Wheeling creek,) and th^i-e 
consolidating their force, crossed the river and proceeded 
directly to the creek bottom, under cover of night, and com- 
pleted their plans for movement in the morning. 

The Indian army consisted of over three hundred and fifty 
Mingoes, Shawanese and Wyandotts. It was commanded by 
the notorious renegade, Simon Girty, and well furnished with 
arms, ammunition, &c., by the infamous Hamilton, governor of 
Canada. Girty disposed of his men in two lines across the 
bottom,^ stretching from the river to the creek. They were 

1 The bottom at that time T?as cleared, and mostly in corn. 


arranged at convenient distances, and effectually concealed 
by the high weeds and corn. 

Posted near the centre of these lines, and close to a path 
leading from the fort (which they supposed some of the whites 
would pass along in the morning,) were six Indians. 

Shortly after day-break of the 1st of September, (see note 
B., end Chap. I.,) Dr. McMechen, who was about returning 
east of the mountains, sent out a white man named Boyd, and 
a negro, to catch the horses. The two men had not proceeded 
far before they discovered the six Indians already referred to. 
Hoping to escape, they made a hurried retreat, but Boyd was 
killed. The negro was permitted to return, doubtless to 
mislead the whites as to the actual number of the foe. 

The commandant immediately ordered Captain Samuel 
Mason, who had brought his company to the fort on the pre- 
vious evening, to go out and dislodge the enemy. With 
fourteen of his men, the gallant Captain at once sallied forth, 
and after proceeding partly across the bottom, discovered the 
six Indians and fired upon them. Almost simultaneously 
with this discharge, the entire Indian army arose, and with 
horrid yells rushed upon the little band of whites. Finding 
that to stand were madness, Mason ordered a retreat, and in 
person commenced cutting his way through the Indian line. 
This he succeeded in doing, but most of his gallant little 
party perished in the attempt. Out of the fourteen, but two 
escaped, and they, like Captain Mason, eluded the pursuing 
savages by concealing themselves beneath brush and fallen 
timber. The names of those who escaped this general slaughter, 
were Hugh McConnell and Thomas Glenn. William Shep- 
herd, son of Colonel David Shepherd, had gained the spring 
near where the market-house now stands, when one of his 
feet caught in a vine, and falling, the pursuing savage was 
instantly upon him, and with a war club dispatched him on 
the spot. 

So soon as the disaster to Mason had been ascertained at the 


226 CAPTAIN ogle's defeat, [Chap. I. 

fort,' Captain Joseph Ogle, with his dozen experienced scouts, 
advanced to his relief, but not without forebodings of im- 
minent danger, as the yells of the savages, and shrieks of the 
whites, told too plainly that a terrible massacre was taking 

With fearless steps Captain Ogle moved on to the scene of 
conflict, determined to cover the retreat of his unfortunate 
countrymen, or perish in the attempt. An excited and bloody 
foe rushed upon them with the fury of demons, and all but 
two or three shared the fate of the first detachment. 

Captain Ogle,^ Sergeant Jacob Ogle, Martin Wetzel, and 
perhaps one other, were all who escaped. 

The loss of so many brave men at such a t^'me, was a sad 
blow to this part of the country. Those who fell were the 
pride of that little fortress. They were heroes in every sense 
of the word ; — men of iron nerve, indomitable courage and 
devoted patriotism. The valor of either would have done 
honor to the victors of Marathon. Scarcely had the shrieks 
of the wounded and dying been quieted, than the army of 
savages, with reeking scalps just torn from the heads of the 
ill-fated soldiery, presented themselves in front of the fort, 
and demanded a surrender. 

The appearance of the enemy, as they approached, was 

1 Those at the fort could not see the effect of the conflict, or the niimber 
of the enemy, on account of the dense fog -which hung over the bottom. 
This will explain why so small a party as Ogle's should venture against so 
large a body of Indians. 

2 An incident -was related by Captain Ogle, which it may not be uninteresting 
to give. In making good Ms escape, Captain Ogle at one time secreted him- 
self amidst a cluster of taU weeds, in the corner of a fence. Whilst there 
concealed, two plumed warriors seated themselves on the fence above him. 
One of these seemed severely wounded, and cried piteously with pain. 
Captaia Ogle saw the blood run in streams down his leg. 

Fearing discovery, Captain Ogle kept his finger on the trigger of his rifle, 
so that he could fire the moment he should be discovered. The Indians soon 
moved off. 

1777.] girty's demand to surrender. 227 

most formidable. They advanced in two separate columns, 
with drum, fife, and British colors. 

The morning was calm, warm, and bright, and the sun just 
rising over the high hill which overlooked the fort, was gently 
dissipating the heavy fog which covered the bloody scene on 
the bottom. 

As the Indians advanced, a few scattering shots were fired 
at them from the fort, without, however, doing much execu- 
tion. Grirty, having brought up his forces, proceeded to dis- 
pose of them as follows. The right flank, was brought around 
the base of the hill, and distributed among the several cabins 
convenient to the fort. The left were ordered to defile be- 
neath the river bank, close under the fort. 

Thus disposed, Girty presented himself at the window of a 
cabin, holding forth a white flag, and ofi"ering conditions of 
peace. He read the proclamation of Hamilton, Governor of 
Canada, and in a stentorian voice demanded the surrender of 
the fort, ofi'ering, in case they complied, protection ; but if 
they refused, immediate and indiscriminate massacre. 

Girty referred, in a very boasting manner, to the great 
force at his command; and called upon them, as loyal sub- 
jects, to give up in obedience to the demand of the king's 
agent, and that not one of them should be injured. 

Although the whole number of men then in the fort did 
not exceed ten or a dozen, still there was no disposition to 
yield ; but, on the contrary, a fixed determination to defy the 
renegade, and all the power of King George. 

Girty having finished his harangue. Colonel David Shep- 
herd, the commandant, promptly and in the most gallant and 
effective manner, replied, " Sir, we have consulted our wives 
and children, and all have resolved — men, women, and chil- 
dren, sooner to perish at their posts than place themselves 
under the protection of a savage army with you at the head; 
or abjure the cause of liberty and the colonies." The outlaw 
attempted to reply, but a shot from the fort put a stop to any 
further harangue. 


A darker hour had scarcely ever obscured the hopes of the 
west. Death was all around that little fortress, and hopeless 
despair seemed to press upon its inmates ; but still they could 
not and would not give up. Duty, patriotism, pride, indepen- 
dence, safety, all required they should not surrender, and 
forswear the cause of freedom. 

Unable to intimidate them, and finding the besieged proof 
against his vile promises, the chagrined and discomfited 
Girty disappeared from the cabin, but in a few minutes was 
seen approaching with a large body of Indians, and instantly 
a tremendous rush was made upon the fort. They attempted 
to force the gates, and test the strength of the pickets by 
muscular effort. Failing to make any impression, Girty 
drew off his men a few yards, and commenced a general fire 
upon the port-holes. 

Thus continued the attack during most of the day and part 
of the night, but without any sensible effect. About noon, 
a temporary withdrawal of the enemy took place. During 
the cessation, active preparations were carried on within the 
fort to resist a further attack. Each person was assigned 
some particular duty. Of the women, some were required to 
run bullets, while others were to cool the guns, load and hand 
them to the men, &c. Some of them, indeed, insisted upon 
doing duty by the side of the men, and two actually took 
their position at the port-holes, dealing death to many a 
dusky warrior. 

About three o'clock, the Indians returned to the attack 
with redoubled fury. They distributed themselves among 
the cabins, behind fallen trees, &c. The number thus dis- 
posed of, amounted to perhaps one-half the actual force of 
the enemy. The remainder advanced along the base of the 
hill south of the fort, and commenced a vigorous fire upon 
•that part of the stockade. This was a cunningly devised 
scheme, as it drew most of the inmates to that quarter. Im- 
mediately a rush was made from the cabins, lead on by Girty 
in person, and a most determined effort made to force the 

1777.] SIGNAL FAILURE. 229 

entrance. The attempt was made with heavy timber, but 
failed, with the loss of many of their boldest warriors. 

Several similar attempts were made during the afternoon, 
but all alike failed. Maddened and chagrined by repeated 
disappointment and ill-success, the savages withdrew to their 
covert until night-fall.^ Day at length closed ; darkness 
deepened over the waters, and almost the stillness of death 
reigned around. About nine o'clock, the savages re-appeared, 
making night hideous with their yells, and the heavens lurid 
with their discharge of musketry. 

The lights in the fort having been extinguished, the inmates 
had the advantage of those without, and many a stalwart 
savage fell before the steady aim of experienced frontiermen. 

Repeated attempts were made during the night to storm 
the fort, and to fire it, but all failed through the vigilance and 
activity of those within. 

At length that night of horror passed, and day dawned 
upon the scene, but to bring a renewal of the attack. This, 
however, did not last long, and despairing of success, the 
savages prepared to leave. They fired most of the buildings, 
killed the cattle, and were about departing, when a relief 
party of fourteen men, under Colonel Andrew Swearengen, 
from Holliday's fort, twenty-four miles above, landed in a 
pirogue, and undiscovered by the Indians, gained entrance to 
the fort. 

Shortly afterwards. Major Samuel McColloch, at the head 
of forty mounted men, from Short creek, made their ap- 

' Just before the withdrawal of the enemy, Francis Duke, son-in-law of 
Colonel Shepherd, rode up to the fort and had almost gained the gate, when 
an Indian shot him. His death was greatly regretted, as he was a brave 
and generous man, and of much service on the frontier. He had been sta- 
tioned at Beach bottom Block-house, as Assistant Commissary, and getting 
information of the attack, mounted his horse, and rode with all speed to the 
scene of operation, there, alas, to meet an untimely death. 

His remains, with those of his brother-in-law, William Shepherd, were in- 
terred near where the North-Western Bank now stands. 


pearance in front of the fort, the gates of which were joy- 
fully thrown open. Simultaneously with the appearance of 
McColloch's men, re-appeared the enemy, and a rush was 
made to cut off the entrance of some of the party. All, 
however, succeeded in getting in except the gallant Major, 
who, anxious for the safety of his men, held back until his 
own chance was entirely cut off. Finding himself surrounded 
by savages, he rode at full speed in direction of the hill. 

The enemy, with exulting yells, followed close in pursuit, 
not doubting they would capture one whom of all other men 
they preferred to wreak their vengeance upon. (For a full 
account of the sequel, the reader is referred to the biographi- 
cal sketch of Major McColloch, to be found in its appropriate 
place in this volume.) Greatly disappointed at the escape of 
the gallant Major, and knowing the hopelessness of attempt- 
ing to maintain a siege against such increased numbers, the 
Indians fired a few additional shot at the fort, and then 
moved rapidly off in a body for their own country. 

It has been conjectured that the enemy lost on this occasion 
from forty to fifty in killed and wounded. The loss of the 
whites has been already stated. Not a single person was 
killed within the fort, and but one slightly wounded. 


By far the most disastrous ambuscade in the settlement of 
the west, was that at the head of Grave creek narrows, now 
Marshall county, Virginia, September 27th, 1777. 

Captain William Foreman, a brave and meritorious officer, 
organized a volunteer company in Hampshire county, Virginia, 
and marched to Wheeling in the fall of 1777. It was known 
that Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, had determined 
early in the spring of that year, to send an expedition against 
the Indian towns at the head of the Scioto, and with this 

1777.] CAPTAIN FOKEMAN. 231 

view ordered three hundred men to he raised in the counties 
of Youghioghany, Monongalia and Ohio. Some of the most 
patriotic of the citizens east of the mountains, thinking the 
west in this emergency might stand in need of aid, de- 
termined to go to her assistance. Of this numher was Capt. 
Foreman, who soon raised a company, and hy the middle of 
Septemher was at Wheeling. A gallant soldier, but wholly 
unfamiliar with Indian warfare, he proved himself unfit for 
the service, and in his very first expedition suffered the 
deplorable ambuscade an account of which we will now give. 

After the withdrawal of the Indians from Wheeling, 
nothing more was seen of them, or heard of their movements 
up to the time of which we now speak ; and the impression 
became general that they had retired to their towns. 

On Sunday morning, September 26th, (1777,) a smoke was 
noticed by some persons at Wheeling, in the direction of 
Grave creek, which caused an apprehension that the Indians 
might be burning the stockade and houses of Mr. Tomlinson. 
In order to ascertain this fact, and afford protection if any 
were necessary. Captain Foreman, with his company, and a 
few experienced scouts, were despatched by Colonel Shepherd 
for the purpose. 

The party proceeded without interruption to Grave creek, 
and found all safe. Remaining over night, they started early 
on the following morning to return. When they had reached 
the lower end of Grave creek narrows, some of the more 
experienced frontiermen suggested the expediency of leaving 
the river bottom, and returning by way of the ridge. The 
commander, however, hooted at the idea of so much caution, 
and ordered the party to proceed. The order was obeyed by 
his own men, including several of the volunteer scouts; but 
some declined to go with him, and of these was a man named 
Lynn, whose great experience as a spy, added to his sagacity 
and judgment, should at least have rendered his opinions 
valuable, and entitled to weight. His apprehensions were, 
that the Indians, if lurking about, had watched the move- 


ments of the party, and would most likely attack them at 
some point on the river. He said, that in all probability, 
they had been on the opposite side of the river and noticed 
the party go down ; that they had crossed during the night 
and most probably were at that time lying in ambush for their 
return. How fearfully were his apprehensions realized. 

During the interchange of opinions between Foreman and 
Lynn, a man named Robert Harkness, a relative of Mr. 
Tomlinson, sat on a log near the parties, and often said that 
the controversy at times ran high. Foreman, who prided 
himself on being a thoroughly disciplined officer, was not 
disposed to yield to the suggestions of a rough backwoodman. 
Lynn, on the other hand, convinced of the fatal error which 
the other seemed determined to commit, could not but remon- 
strate with all the power of persuasion at his command. 
Finally, when the order to march was given, Lynn with some 
six or eight others struck up the hill side, while Foreman with 
his company pursued the path along the base. 

Nothing of importance occurred until the party reached 
the extreme upper end of the narrows. Just where the 
bottom begins to widen, those in front had their attention 
drawn to a display of Indian trinkets, beads, bands, &c., 
strewn in profusion along the path. With a natural curiosity, 
but a great lack of perception, the entire party gathered 
about those who picked up the articles of decoy, and whilst 
thus standing in a compact group, looking at the beads, &c., 
two lines of Indians stretched across the path, one above, the 
other below, and a large body of them simultaneously arose 
from beneath the bank, and opened upon the devoted party a 
most deadly and destructive fire. The river hill rises at this 
point with great boldness, presenting an almost insurmountable 
barrier. Still, those of the party who escaped the first dis- 
charge, attempted to rush up the acclivity, and some with 
success. But the savages pursued and killed several. 

At the first fire, Captain Foreman and most of his 
party, including his two sons, fell dead. The exact loss 


cannot with certainty be ascertained, but is supposed to have 
t)een about twenty, including the Captain. We give, (Note 
C, end Chap. I.,) a list of losses, &c., sustained by members 
of Captain Foreman's company, but there is nothing to indi- 
cate who were killed. The presumption is, however, that most 
of those whose names are mentioned suffered on the occasion 
referred to. 

When Lynn and his party heard the guns, they rushed 
down the side of the hill, hallooing as though they were five 
times as numerous. This had the effect of restraining the 
savages in pursuit, and perhaps saved the lives of many. 

Of those who escaped up the hill were Robert Harkness and 
John Collins. The former, in pulling himself up by a sapling, 
had the bark knocked into his face with a ball from an Indian's 
gun. Collins was shot through the left thigh, breaking the 
bone, and completely disabling him. Lynn and his com- 
panions carried him to a spring^ said to have been just over 
the hill, and throwing together their supply of provisions, left 
him in a sheltered position, promising to send a messenger 
on the following day with a horse. 

Those who were so fortunate as to escape this terrible affair, 
made their way in safety to Wheeling. 

On the second day, a party went down and buried the dead. 
Col. Shepherd, Col. Zane, Andrew Poe, and Martin Wetzel 
were of this number. They were thrown into one common 
grave, and the place of their interment is still pointed out to 
the passer-by.^ 

Collins, the wounded man, was taken off on horseback, the 
second night. They carried him to Shepherd's Fort, and the 
present Mrs. Cruger remembers to have seen him when 

1 This spring is supposed to be tlie one near the present residence of Col. 
Samuel P. Baker. The author, in company with Col. Baker, examined the 
locality, particularly in reference to this spring, and the conclusion arriyed 
at, was as indicated above. It answers very well the description given of it 
by the old settlers. 


brought in. He suffered greatly with his wounded limb in 
riding ; but finally recovered, and lived for many years. 

The number of Indians engaged in this affair was never 
known. Some supposed it was the same body that attacked 
the fort at Wheeling, three weeks previous ; but this is all 

About the last of September, two men (Leonard Petro and 
William White), who were watching a path that led up the 
Little Kanawha, killed an elk, and after a hearty supper laid 
down to sleep. "About midnight. White awakening, discovered 
by the light of the moon, that there were several Indians near, 
who had doubtless been drawn by the report of their gun in the 
evening. He saw at a glance, the impossibility of escape, by 
flight ; and preferring captivity to death, he whispered to 
Petro to lie still, lest any movement of his might lead to this 
result. In a few minutes the Indians sprang on them ; and 
White raising himself as one lay hold of him, aimed a furious 
blow, with his tomahawk, hoping to wound the Indian by 
whom he was beset, and then make his escape. Missing his 
aim, he affected to be ignorant of the fact, that he had 
encountered Indians ; professed great joy at meeting with 
them, and declared that he was then on his way to their 
towns. They were not deceived by the artifice ; for although 
he assumed an air of pleasantness and gaiety, calculated to 
win upon their confidence, yet the woful countenance of Petro, 

' In 1835, a few gentlemen, chiefly members, we believe, of a Light-horse 
company, raised a small fund, and had placed near the spot of theii- interment, 
a plain stone, bearing in simple, but expressive language, this inscription, 
" This humble stone is erected to the memory of Captain Foreman, and 
twenty-one of his men, who were slain by a band of ruthless savages, — the 
allies of a civilized nation of Europe — on the 26th of September, 1777. 
' So sleep the brave, who sink to rest. 
By all their country's wishes blest.' " 

1777.] FAMILY MURDEEED. 235 

convinced them that White's conduct was feigned, that he 
might lull them into inattention, and thus be enabled to escape. 
They were both tied for the night ; and in the morning, White 
being painted red, and Petro black, they were forced to pro- 
ceed to the Indian towns. When approaching their village, 
the whoop of success brought several to meet them ; and on 
their arrival at it, they found every preparation made for 
running the gauntlet. White did not, however, remain long 
in captivity. Eluding their vigilance, he took one of their 
guns and began his flight homeward. Before he had travelled 
far, he met an Indian on horseback, whom he succeeded in 
shooting ; and mounting his horse, made his way home. 
Petro was never heard of afterwards. The painting of him 
black, had indicated their intention to kill him; and the 
escape of White probably hastened it." 

The inhabitants of the Upper Monongahela continued to 
observe their usual vigilance until toward the close of November, 
when a fall of snow occurring, they relaxed somewhat their 
watchfulness. As a general thing, the Indians withdrew from 
the settlements on the commencement of winter, and did not 
reappear until the coming spring. Instances were very rare, 
in which they disturbed the settlements during winter. The 
readiness by which they could be tracked, together with the 
severity of the weather, compelled them to such a course. 

The snow to which we have referred, lulled the inhabitants 
into false security. About twenty Indians had penetrated 
the settlement in Tygart Yalley, and were waiting to make 
an attack when the snow fell. Not liking to return without 
some trophy of their valor, the savages concealed themselves 
until the snow disappeared. On the 15th day of December 
they came to the house of Darby Connoly, at the upper ex- 
tremity of the Valley, and killed his wife, himself, and several 
of their children, taking three others prisoners. Proceeding 


to the next house, they killed John Stewart, wife and child, 
and took Miss Hamilton (sister of Mrs. Stewart) captive. 
Then changing their direction, with great dispatch, they 
entered upon their journey homeward, with the captives and 

In the course of the evening, after these outrages were 
committed, John Hadden passing by the house of Connoly, 
saw an elk which the family raised, lying dead in the yard, 
and suspecting that all was not right, entered the house, and 
with horror saw what had been done. Knowing that the 
work of blood had been recently committed, he hastened to 
alarm the neighborhood, and sent an express to Captain 
Benjamin Wilson, who lived about twenty miles down the 
Valley. With great promptitude, Capt. Wilson went through 
the settlement, exerting himself to procure as many volunteers, 
as would justify going in pursuit of the murderers ; and so 
indefatigable was he in accomplishing this purpose, that, on 
the day after, he appeared with thirty men, prepared to take 
the trail, and push forward in pursuit of the savages. For 
five days they followed through cold and wet, often wading 
and swimming streams, and then traveling many miles before 
the icicles could be thawed off. Still there was no appear- 
ance of the enemy ; and at length, the men positively refusing 
to go farther, the party returned from its fruitless chase, and 
the savages escaped with their prisoners and booty. 

These were perhaps, the last murders committed in North- 
Western Virginia, during this fatal and bloody year. 


Of those who followed the Wetzels, Bennetts, Messers and 
others, to the west and settled on Wheeling creek, was a man 
named Grandstaff. He improved the farm now owned by Mr. 
Buchanan, about three miles above the forks. 


On the renewal of Indian hostilities, Grandstaff removed 
his family to Shepherd' » fort. He was in the habit, however, 
of visiting his improvements almost daily, but returning to 
the fort in the evening. 

In March of this year, Mr. G. went up to his farm, when 
a party of Indians, who had been lying in wait, shot and 
scalped him. 


Early in the commencement of this year, it became mani- 
fest that the confederated tribes were preparing to renew their 
attack upon the frontier settlements of the west. On the 8th 
of February, Grov. Schuyler wrote to Congress, — "There is 
too much reason to believe that an expedition will be formed 
against the western frontiers of this state, Virginia and 
Pennsylvania." The apprehensions of Gen. Schuyler were 
too well founded. It was in this year the terrible drama of 
Wyoming took place. Of the savage operations in this section, 
we shall now proceed to notice. The success of the enemy 
in the fall previous, seemed to madden them for blood, and at 
a very early day they moved upon the frontier, spreading 
alarm and death in almost every direction. The erection of 
Fort Crawford on the Alleghany, and the contemplated mili- 
tary operations of Gen. Mcintosh on the Ohio, had the effect 
of restraining the movements of the savages in each of these 
directions, and forcing them to cross at points farther down. 
Their failure to take Fort Henry in the previous September, 
and thinking perhaps that the garrison had been strengthened, 
they struck the frontier at points below and thence proceeded 
against the settlements on the Monongahela. At that time, 
the entire frontier from Wheeling to Point Pleasant (one hun- 
dred and seventy miles) was unprotected, if we except the 
small and wholly inefficient stations at Grave creek. Baker's, 
etc. These offered no impediment to the progress of the 


enemy, and unmolested they struck back to tlie heart of the 
mountain settlements. >» 

The inhabitants of the upper Monongahela, not unmindful 
of the indications which had reached them, commenced busily 
preparing for the anticipated attack. Harbert's block-house 
on Ten-mile, was a safe and convenient resort, and thither 
those living in that quarter took shelter. Notwithstanding 
these prudential steps, they unhappily suffered themselves to 
be lulled into false security. The weather being fine, the 
children were allowed to play outside of the block-house. 
Suddenly, one of them discovered Indians, and, running in, 
gave the alarm. " John Murphy stepped to the door to see 
if danger had really approached, when one of the Indians, 
turning the corner of the house, fired at him. The ball took 
efiect, and Murphy fell into the house. The Indian springing 
in, was grappled by Harbert, and throAvn on the floor. A 
shot from without, wounded Harbert, yet he continued to 
maintain his advantage over the prostrate savage, striking 
him effectually as he could with his tomahawk, when another 
gun was fired from without, the ball passing through his 
head. His antagonist then slipped out at the door, badly 
wounded in the encounter. 

"Just after the first Indian entered, an active young war- 
rior, holding a tomahawk with a long spike at the end, came 
in. Edward Cunningham instantly drew up his gun, but it 
flashed, and they closed in doubtful strife. Both were active 
and athletic; and sensible of the 'high prize for which they 
contended, each put forth his strength, and strained every 
nerve to gain the ascendancy. For awhile, the issue seemed 
doubtful. At length, by great exertion, Cunningham wrenched 
the tomahawk from the hand of the Indian, and buried the 
spike end to the handle, in his back. Mrs. Cunningham closed 
the contest. Seeing her husband struggling with the savage, 
she struck at him with an axe. The edge wounding his face 
severely, he loosened his hold, and made his way out of the 

1778.] A SAVAGE MONSTER. 239 

" The third Indian, who had entered before the door was 
closed, presented an appearance almost as frightful as the 
object he had in view. He wore a cap made of the unshorn 
front of a buffalo, with the ears and horns still attached, and 
hanging loosely about his head, gave a most hideous appear- 
ance, and on entering the room, this frightful monster, aimed a 
blow with his tomahawk at Miss Reece, which alighting on her 
head, inflicted a severe wound. The mother, seeing the uplifted 
weapoi^ about to descend on her daughter, seized the monster 
by the horns ; but his false head coming off, she did not suc- 
ceed in changing the direction of the weapon. The father 
then caught hold of him ; but far inferior in strength, he was 
thrown on the floor, and would have been killed, but for the 
interference of Cunningham, who, having succeeded in clearing 
the house of one Indian, wheeled and struck his tomahawk 
into the head of the other. 

" During all this time the door was kept secured by the 
women. The Indians from without endeavored several times to 
force it and would at one time have succeeded ; but just as it 
was yielding, the Indian, who had been wounded by Cunning- 
ham and his wife, squeezed out, causing a momentary relaxa- 
tion of their efforts, and enabled the women again to close it." 

The savages on the outside, in the meantime, were busily 
engaged in securing such of the children as could travel, and 
murdering in the most inhuman and revolting manner all who 
could not. Despairing of being able to do further mischief, 
they moved off. 

One white adult only was killed, and four or five wounded. 
Of the children, eight or ten were killed and carried off. The 
Indians lost one killed, and had two badly wounded. 

Many other depredations of a similar character occurred 
in that part of Virginia, during the spring of the present 
year. Our crowded limits will not allow us to give them in 
detail. We will notice a few as we find them chronicled by 
the local historian. 


" On the eleventh of April, some Indians visited the house of 
William Morgan, on Dunker's bottom. They there killed a 
young man by the name of Braio, Mrs. Morgan, (the mother 
of William) and her grand-daughter, and Mrs. Dillon and her 
two children ; and took Mrs. Morgan (the wife) and her child 
prisoners. When on their way home, coming near Pricket's 
fort, they bound Mrs. Morgan to a bush, and went in quest of 
a horse to have her ride, leaving the child with her. She 
succeeded in untying with her teeth, the bands which confined 
her, and wandered the balance of that day and part of the 
next, before she came in sight of the fort. Here she was 
kindly treated, and in a few days sent home. 

Toward the latter part of the same month, a party of about 
twenty Indians visited Hacker's creek settlement. The fami- 
lies were generally fortified ; but as it was necessary to put in 
a crop, the men while thus employed carried their rifles with 
them, and often went in bodies, so as to afi"ord better security 
against surprise or attack from the Indians. 

A company of men, thus engaged about the last week in 
May, on Hacker's creek, and being a good deal dispersed 
in various occupations, some fencing, others clearing, and a 
few ploughing, they were unexpectedly fired upon, and Thos, 
Hughes and Jonathan Lowther shot down : the others being 
incautiously without arms, fled for safety. Two of the com- 
pany, having the Indians rather between them and West's fort, 
ran directly to Richards',^ as well for their own security as to 
give the alarm. They had already been apprized that the 
enemy were at hand. Isaac Washburn, who had been to mill 
on Hacker's creek, on his return and near where Clement's 
now stands, was shot from his horse, tomahawked and scalped. 
The alarm of this murder had been given before the men 
arrived. The Indians escaped without pursuit. 

Early in June, a few Indians made their appearance in the 
neighborhood of Fort Randolph (Point Pleasant), and after 

1 West's fort stood on Hacker's creek, and Richards' on the Monongahela. 


vainly manoeuvring to draw out an attacking party from the 
garrison, disappeared, when suddenly a large body of savages 
arose from their covert and demanded a surrender of the fort, 
on pain of instant destruction. 

Captain McKee, the commandant, asked until morning for 
consideration. During the night, the besieged made good use 
of the darkness by carrying water into the fort, and putting 
all things in readiness for a regular siege. 

In the morning, Captain McKee replied, that the demand 
for a surrender could not be complied with. The Indians 
(they were mostly Shawanese) then said, they had come ex- 
pressly for the purpose of avenging the death of their great 
chief, Cornstalk ; that the fort should be reduced, and every 
soul massacred. The attack was commenced with great fury, 
and continued, with but little intermission, for several days. 
Finding they could make no sensible impression, the enemy 
withdrew and proceeded up the Kanawha, evidently with the 
intention of attacking the Greenbriar settlements. No recent 
demonstration of hostility having been made in that quarter, 
Captain McKee justly became alarmed for the issue, unless 
information of their approach could be conveyed to the settle- 
ments. Two soldiers were immediately sent in pursuit, 
but being discovered, were fired upon, and they returned to 
the fort. Two others then volunteered, Philip Hammon and 
John Pryor. An Indian squaw present, decorated them in 
true savage style, so that the native warriors could scarcely 
have told them from genuine Shawanese. Thus equipped, 
the intrepid hunters left Port Randolph, and over hill and 
dale they sped onward, until finally they reached the settle- 
ments. The people were alarmed, and ere night closed in 
the whole neighborhood were collected at the residence of 
Colonel Andrew Donally.'' Everything was put in readiness 
for an attack. Dr. Campbell, in his Narrative, says, a strict 

' This was a large, substantial, hewn log dwelling, protected by pickets, 
and answered admirably for a place of defence. It stood about ten miles 
north of the present town of Lewisburg. 



watch was kept through the night, but no enemy appeared. 
The second day passed off in like manner. That night, most 
of the men went to the second story, having slept none for 
nearly forty-eight hours. In the latter part of the night they 
became drowsy, and when daylight appeared, all were in a 
profound sleep. Only three men were on the lower floor, — 
Hammon, and the white and black servants of Colonel Don- 
ally. At daybreak the white servant opened the door, that 
he might bring in some firewood, and had gone but a few 
steps from the house when he was shot down. The Indians 
now sprang from their concealment on the edge of the rye- 
field near the house, and rushing in a body, attempted to 
enter the door. Hammon and the black servant Dick, made 
an effort to secure it, but the Indians commenced chopping 
with their tomahawks, and had actually cut through the door, 
when Dick, fearing that they might succeed in gaining their 
purpose, left Hammon at his post, and seizing a musket which 
stood near, loaded with heavy slugs, discharged it through 
the opening among the crowd. The Indians now fell back, 
and the door was secured. Some of the savages crawled 
under the floor, and were endeavoring to force their way up ; 
Hammon and Dick, with one or two men from the loft, who 
had been aroused by the firing, quietly awaited the Indians 
in their effort. Presently, one of them showing his head 
through the opening, Hammon aimed a blow with his toma- 
hawk, which placed him beyond the power of doing further 
injury. A second was killed in the same way, and the rest 
escaped. In the meantime, all the men in the loft were up, 
and pouring upon the enemy a most destructive fire, drove 
them off under cover of the woods. The attack was kept up 
during most of the day, but at such a distance as to do but 
little harm. One man was killed by a ball passing through 
an interstice in the wall. On the alarm being given by 
Hammon and his companion, a messenger was sent to the 
station at Lewisburg, (this messenger was John Pritchett, and 
was killed on the morning of the attack). By the activity of 
Colonel Samuel Lewis and Colonel John Stuart, a force of 

1778. INDIAN MURDEKS. 243 

sixty-six armed men was ready to march on the third morn- 
ing. To avoid an ambush, they left the direct road, and 
taking a circuitous route, arrived opposite the fort, turned 
across, and passing through a rye-field, entered in safety. 
Giving up all hope after the accession of so I'arge a force, 
the savages withdrew, and moved off in direction of the Ohio. 
Seventeen of them were found dead in the yard. 

About the middle of June, as Captain James Booth and 
Nathaniel Cochran, were at work in a field on Booth's creek, 
a party of Indians came upon them, and killing Booth, took 
the other prisoner. Captain Booth was a brave and meri- 
torious citizen, and his loss was greatly regretted. 

A few days subsequent to these transactions, William 
Grundy,^ Benjamin Shinn, and Benjamin Washburn, in re- 
turning from a lick, were fired upon, and Grundy killed. 
About the same time Thomas Ryan, brother of the boy 
killed at the spring, during the meditated attack on Wheel- 
ing, in 1781, was murdered on Short creek, on the farm 
lately owned by R. Hardesty, Esq. Ryan was a man of 
much energy of character, and had been useful in border 
service. His death was greatly regretted. 

His widow married Silas Zane, and was a second time 
widowed by savage hands. Zane was killed while crossing 
the Scioto, a few years after, in company with George Green 
and one or two other men. 


Although the Indians disappeared for a brief period after 
their attack upon the men at Hacker's, still they lingered 
through the country, closely watching every opportunity to 
commit mischief. Had the force been sufficient at any one 

' Mr. G. was brother to Hon. Felix Grundy, of Tennessee. 


post, to have gone in pursuit, the savages could have been 
driven from the country ; but, as it was, the settlers could 
only remain at home and protect their women and children. 
Notwithstanding the great danger there was known to be in 
leaving the fort, still persons would occasionally venture out, 
and unhappily, in many instances, at the sacrifice of their 
lives. Such are the facts in the case we are now about to 
give. Three women ventured forth from West's fort to 
gather greens in an adjacent field. One of these was Mrs. 
Freeman, another Mrs. Hacker, but the name of the third we 
have not been able to ascertain. While thus busily engaged, 
they were furiously attacked by four Indians, and all would 
undoubtedly have been killed, had not their screams brought 
the men to their rescue. Three of the savages immediately 
retreated, but the fourth, who carried a long stafi" with a 
spear on its end, ran up and thrust it through the body of 
the unfortunate Mrs. Freeman. The savage then scalped his 
victim before the men could drive him ofi". 

Some persons at a distance from the fort, hearing the 
screams, rushed forward. Of this number were Jesse Hughes 
and John Schoolcraft, who ran for the fort together, and as 
they approached, Hughes discovered two Indians standing 
with their faces towards the fort, and looking very attentively 
at the movements of the whites. Changing their course they 
reached the fort in safety. Hughes immediately grasped 
his rifle and bounded out in pursuit, folloAved by some half 
dozen others. Before reaching the place where the two Indians 
had been seen, a signal resembling the howl of a wolf was 
heard, which Hughes immediately answered, and moved 
rapidly on in the direction whence it proceeded. In a short 
time, the howl was again given and a second time answered. 
Running to the brow of a hill and cautiously looking around, 
Hughes and his companions saw two Indians coming towards 
them. Hughes instantly fired, and one of them fell. The 
other sought safety in flight, and by running through the 
thickets, finally escaped. 


In the fall of this year, a party of Indians came upon 
the house of Gilbert Hustead, living on Bartlett's run, and 
made him prisoner. Hearing a noise in the yard, Hustead 
opened the door to ascertain the cause, and finding it 
surrounded by Indians, put on an air of the utmost non- 
chalance, and walking out, extended his hand, welcoming 
them to his house and manifesting every degree of pleasure 
on seeing them. The wild men, not accustomed to so much 
deception, greeted their new found friend, and stepped in to 
share his proffered hospitality. Hustead could not be too 
kind and attentive ; and finally, by handsomely abusing the 
"rebels," as he called his neighbors, and showing them (the 
Indians) every civility, won their favor and saved his scalp. 
Inquiring whether they were hungry and would not be glad 
to have something to eat, he asked one of them to shoot a 
fat hog in the yard, that they might regale on it that night, 
and have some on which to subsist whilst travelling to their 
towns. In the morning, still further to maintain the decep- 
tion, he broke his furniture to pieces, saying " the rebels shall 
never have the good of this." He then accompanied them to 
their towns, acting in the same, apparently contented and 
cheerful manner, till his sincerity was believed by all, and he 
obtained leave to return for his family. He succeeded in 
making his way home, where he remained, sore at the de- 
struction of his property, but exulting in the success of his 

At the time of the above occurrence, a much larger party 
of Indians made their way to Coburn's creek, and attacked a 
company of whites returning from a field in the neighborhood 
of Coburn's fort. John Woodfin and Jacob Miller were both 
killed and scalped. 

They next made their appearance on Dunker creek, near 
to Stradler's fort. Here, as on Coburn creek, they lay in 
ambush on the road side, awaiting the return of the men who 

246 SEVERE LOSS. [Chap. I. 

were engaged at work in some of the neighboring fields. 
Towards evening the men came, carrying with them some 
hogs which they had killed for the use of the fort people, and 
on approaching where the Indians lay concealed, were fired 
upon and several fell. Those who escaped injury from the first 
fire, returned the shot, and a severe action ensued. But so 
many of the whites had been killed before the savages ex- 
posed themselves to view, that the remainder were unable 
long to sustain the unequal contest. Overpowered by num- 
bers, the few who were still unhurt, fied precipitately to the 
fort, leaving eighteen of their companions dead in the road. 
These were scalped and mangled by the Indians in a most 
shocking manner, and lay some time before the men in the 
fort, assured of the departure of the enemy, went out and 
buried them. 

Weakened by the severe loss sustained in this bloody 
skirmish, had the Indians pushed forward to attack the fort, 
in all human probability, it would have fallen before them.^ 

One of the last murders committed in the Monongahela 
country during this year, was that on the person of David 
Edwards, a worthy and industrious settler. He had been to 
Winchester for a supply of salt, and while on his return, near 
Valley river, was shot, tomahawked and scalped. His re- 
mains were not discovered for several days, and were so 
mutilated by wild beasts that they were with difficulty recog- 


The surrender to Clark of the British " hair-buyer," as 
Hamilton was very appropriately called, put it out of that 
functionary's power to purge the west of the "Long-knives," 
as he had so bravely threatened to do. It also had the efi'ect 
to restrain the activity of the savages on the Virginia fron- 

' Withers. 

1779.] mobgan's eencontre. 247 

tier, especially as the trade in scalps had hecome dull since 
the bounty patron had gone to Williamsburg, loaded with 
irons. But the savages were not long quiet; they had in- 
juries of their own which they burned to avenge ; and although 
more prisoners were made and fewer scalps taken, than when 
Hamilton was abroad, still their depredations were as great, 
and the terror which their presence inspired just as all-per- 
vading, as during the previous years. In Virginia, they did 
not appear by a month so early as usual, but when commenced 
their operations were quite as extensive. Anticipating in- 
creased danger, the settlers on Hacker's creek all removed 
with their families to the neighboring forts, and placed them- 
selves in proper condition for meeting and resisting the 
enemy in any number that might come. Several new forts 
had, in the meantime, arisen; and therefore, when the cam- 
paign fairly opened, the settlers were better prepared to 
encounter their fierce adversaries than ever before. The 
extreme frontier people had also been busy. Many new stock- 
ades were erected, and the old ones repaired. Tomlinson's, 
at Grave creek, which had been abandoned in 1777, was 
re-fitted and occupied; Shepherd's, at the forks of Wheeling, 
which the Indians had burned, was re-built, with many others 
along the populated vallies in the neighborhood of Wheeling. 

mokgan's rencontre. 

One of the most remarkable instances of personal heroism 
in the history of the West, is that of the celebrated combat 
between David Morgan and two Indians. Other instances, 
exhibiting equal success with even greater disparity of num- 
bers, are upon record ; but in none do we find more of true 
courage, energy, and intrepidity, than in this unequal con- 
test between a man of advanced years and feeble health, 
struggling with, and finally vanquishing both his powerful 
adversaries. The settlements along the upper Monongahela, 

248 A DREAM. [Chap. I. 

which had suffered so severely during the preceding fall, had 
not as jet been disturbed by the enemy, and many imagined 
that there was to be no repetition of them, at least during the 
present season. They however, still remained shut up in 
their block-houses, and rarely ventured far without appro- 
priate means of defence. Of those who removed with their 
families to Prickett's fort,^ was David Morgan, one of the 
earliest settlers on the frontier, and a man of great energy of 
character, and of sterling worth. He was a near relative of 
General Morgan of Revolutionary memory, and like that dis- 
tinguished officer, possessed, in a remarkable degree, courage 
and capacity for almost any emergency. 

At the time of which we speak, Mr. Morgan was upwards 
of sixty years of age, and for some days had been slightly 
indisposed. Early in April, he desired two of his children, 
Stephen,^ sixteen years of age, and Sarah, about fourteen, to 
feed the stock at his farm, distant about one mile, and on the 
opposite side of the river. This he did, in consequence of 
feeling worse that morning than usual. No Indians had yet 
been seen in the neighborhood, and of course he considered 
all perfectly safe. 

As. the weather was fine, the brother and sister concluded 
to remain and prepare a piece of ground for melons. Soon 
after they left the fort, Mr. Morgan lay down, and shortly 
falling to sleep, dreamed that he saw the children walking 
before him, scalped. This vision awoke him, and finding, 
upon inquiry, that the children had not returned, he became 
uneasy, and started immediately in hunt of them. Approach- 
ing the premises, he beheld his children busily engaged in the 
manner already indicated. 

Seating himself upon a log close at hand, Morgan watched 

' This stockade stood about twelve miles above Morgantown, and close to 
the Monongahela river. 

2 This was the father of Hon. Wm. S. Morgan, who formerly represented 
the Wheeling district in Congress, and of Charles S. Morgan, Esq., of Rich- 
mond. He died in November 1850, at the age of 90. 


his children for some time, when suddenly he saw emerge 
from the house two Indians, who moved rapidly up toward 
Stephen and his sister. Fearing to alarm the children, Mor- 
gan cautiously warned them of their danger, and told them 
to go at once to the fort. They instantly obeyed, and the 
Indians, discovering their movements, gave their accustomed 
whoop, and started in pursuit. Morgan, having hitherto 
escaped their attention, now arose, and returning their shout, 
caused the savages to seek behind trees instant protection. 

Knowing that the chances of a fair fight were almost hope- 
less, Morgan thought to escape by running, and so manage as 
to keep the trees between himself and the enemy. In this, 
however, he was mistaken; impaired health, and the infirmi- 
ties of age disabled him from keeping long beyond the reach 
of the fleet and athletic warriors. Finding, after a run of 
some two hundred yards, that the savages were rapidly gain- 
ing on him, he determined to shoot one, and take his chance 
with the other. Turning to fire, both Indians sprung behind 
trees, and Morgan did the same ; but finding the one he first 
gained too small to protect his person, he quitted it and made 
for another, which was reached in safety. 

One of the Indians, hoping to get nearer his intended vic- 
tim, ran to the tree which Morgan had left, but finding it too 
small, threw himself behind a log close at hand. This, how- 
ever, did not conceal him entirely, which Morgan noticing, 
instantly fired, and shot the savage through the part exposed. 
Feeling himself mortally wounded, with more than Spartan 
fortitude, he drew his knife, and inflicted two deep stabs upon 
his breast. To him death had no fears, save as dealt by the 
hand of his white antagonist. 

The heroic old man, having thus effectually disposed of one 
of his pursuers, again resorted to flight. The chances were 
now desperate, as the Indian had the double advantage of 
tomahawk and rifle. Running fifty or sixty yards, he glanced 
hurriedly over his shoulder, just in time to see the savage 
ready to fire. Jumping to one side, the ball passed harmlessly 


by, and the two now felt that the combat must be brought to 
close quarters. With all the fury of his nature, the savage 
rushed upon his adversary with loud yells and uplifted toma- 
hawk. Morgan prepared to meet him with his gun, but the 
savage aimed a blow with his tomahawk, with such force and 
effect as to knock the rifle from Morgan's grasp, and cut 
two of the fingers from his left hand. They now clinched, 
and the combat became equal, except the savage was the 
younger and much more powerful of the two. Frantic at the 
loss of his companion, and his own ill-success, he fought with 
a desperation rarely known in single combat; Morgan, on 
the other part, inspirited by the success which had thus far 
attended him, nerved his arm, and strung every muscle to the 
conflict, resolved to kill his combatant, or sell his own life as 
dearly as possible. Our hero, in his younger days, had been 
a most expert wrestler, and was thus enabled with ease to 
throw the Indian ; but the latter, more active and powerful, 
readily turned him. With a yell of exultation, the savage 
now held his adversary down, and began to feel for his knife. 
Morgan saw the movement, and well knew all would be over 
if the savage got possession of it. 

The Indian was prevented getting the knife by a woman's 
apron, which he had wrapped around his body in such a manner 
as to confine the handle. Whilst endeavoring to extricate it, 
Morgan got one of the Indian's thumbs between his teeth, and so 
firmly did he hold it, and effectually grind it, that the poor wretch 
was sadly disconcerted, and more than once screamed with 
pain. Finally, he grasped his knife, but so close to the blade, 
that Morgan noticing it, caught the end of the handle, and 
drew it quickly through the Indian's hand, cutting it severely. 
The savage was now literally hors de combat, and springing to 
his feet, endeavored to get away ; but the resolute Morgan, not 
yet having done with him, held on to the thumb, until he had 
inflicted a mortal thrust in the side of his enemy. Letting go, 
the Indian sank almost lifeless to the ground, and Morgan 
made his way to the fort. Before reaching the river, he over- 


took his children. After hearing his adventure, a party of 
men left the fort, and proceeded to the place of conflict. On 
reaching the spot, nothing was to be seen of the wounded 
Indian ; but his trail of blood indicated the place of his 
concealment. The poor creature had taken the knife from 
his side, bound up the wound with the apron already alluded 
to, and as the whites approached him, he feelingly accosted 
them, with " How do do, broder ?" What followed, we would, 
for the sake of our common humanity, fain screen ; but, as the 
facts have often been published, and the whole aflFair has 
become matter of history, we can see no propriety in with- 
holding any part now. 

" How do do, broder ?" met with no fraternal response from 
the party who discovered his retreat. He was immediately 
dispatched ; and not satisfied with that, himself and companion 
were both scalped, and then flayed. Their skins were after- 
wards tanned and made into shot-pouches, belts, razor-straps, 
&c. Human nature revolts at the contemplation of such acts 
of wanton barbarity. The impression has hitherto prevailed 
that Morgan was one of this party. This, we are assured, is 
not the fact. He was too much exhausted from loss of blood, 
and the severe personal conflict, to go out with the men, and 
of course could not have participated. 


In June of this year, the humble structure known as Mar- 
tin's fort, which stood on Crooked run, was the scene of a 
painful and bloody afi'air. 

On the morning of the attack, most of the men went, as 
usual, to their respective improvements in the neighborhood. 
Those who remained, not apprehending an attack, were 
leisurely engaged outside of the fort, while the women were 
occupied in milking the cows. A party of Shawanese, who 
had lain in wait, embraced the favorable opportunity, and 


rushing upon the whites, killed three men, and made prisoners 
of seven others. Peter Croase, James Stuart, and James 
Smalley were the men killed. 

Soon after this occurrence, a small party of Indians appeared 
on Pike run, a tributary to the Monongahela, below Browns- 
ville, and surprised two daughters of Capt. David Scott, who 
were carrying dinner to some men mowing a meadow, not far 
from their father's house. The younger, an interesting and 
beautiful girl, was killed on the spot, as she made some 
resistance, but her sister was carried into captivity. The 
murdered sister was not found for several days, and when 
discovered, presented a most horrible spectacle. Voracious 
birds had so preyed upon her that she was but with difficulty 

About the last of September, Nathaniel Davisson and his 
younger brother, living in the vicinity of Clarksburgh, started 
upon a hunting expedition on the waters of Ten-mile. Hunt- 
ing separately, as was the custom, Josiah returned to camp 
at an hour designated for meeting there, but not finding his 
brother, and after waiting some time, feeling uneasy about 
his safety, determined to search for him. Unable to see or 
hear any thing, the other returned home, and prevailed upon 
several of his neighbors to aid in endeavoring to ascertain 
his fate. Their search was alike unavailing. In the following 
March, his remains were found by John Read, while hunting. 
He had been shot and scalped ; and notwithstanding he had 
lain out nearly six months, yet he was but little torn by wild 
beasts, and easily recognized. 

Tygart's Valley settlement, which had escaped a savage 
visitation in 17T8, was not to be so exempt during the present 
year. In October, a party of Indians lying in ambush near the 
road, fired at Lieut. John White, who was riding by, but with 
no other efi'ect than wounding his horse, and causing him to 
throw his rider. This was fatal to White, as the ground was 
open, and he was soon shet, tomahawked and scalped. 


So soon as this event was made known, Capt. Benjamin 
Wilson raised a company, and proceeding by forced marches 
to the Indian crossing at the mouth of the Sandy fork of 
Little Kanhawa, he remained there nearly three days with a 
view to intercept the retreat of the savages. They, however, 
returned by another rout, and thus his scheme of cutting them 
off failed. 

Some time after this, several families in the Buchanan 
settlement, left the fort and returned to their homes, under 
the belief that the season had advanced too far, for the 
Indians again to come among them. But in this they were 
deceived. The men being all assembled at the fort, for 
the purpose of electing a captain, some Indians fell upon the 
family of John Schoolcraft, and killed the women and eight 
children, — two little boys only were taken prisoners. A small 
girl, who had been scalped and tomahawked, a portion of her 
brains coming from her head, was found the next day alive. 

The last mischief done this fall, was perpetrated at the 
house of Samuel Cottrial, near the present town of Clarks- 
burgh. During the night, considerable fear was excited, both 
at Cottrial's and at Sotha Hickman's, on the opposite side 
of Elk creek, by the continued barking of dogs. Cottrial, 
on going to bed, secured well the doors, and directed that no 
one should stir out in the morning until it was ascertained 
that no danger threatened. Just before day, Cottrial being 
asleep, Moses Coleman, who lived with him, got up, shelled 
some corn, and giving a few ears to Cottrial's nephew, with 
directions to feed the pigs around the yard, went himself 
to an adjoining building and commenced grinding. A single 
Indian, one of a party who had lain secreted during the night, 
made his appearance, and first catching the boy, fired and 
killed Coleman. Running to scalp his victim, the little fellow 
made good his escape. The other Indians went off without 
doing further injury. 

The above, for which we are indebted to the interesting 
local history of that region, was followed by numerous other 


cases of savage cruelty, occurring towards the close of the 
season of 1779. We regret that our want of room "will not 
allow more copious extracts at the present time. 


Many depredations were committed during this year on the 
frontiers of Virginia and Pennsylvania, and it was perhaps 
mainly to these circumstances that the unfortunate Moravian 
Indians owe their destruction. 

Early in February, a party of Delawares entered the set- 
tlement on the waters of Raccoon creek, Washington county, 
near the present town of Florence, and after committing 
several acts of violence, made an attack upon the house of 
Robert Wallace, during his absence from home, making pri- 
soners of Mrs. W., her little son Robert, two-and-a-half years 
old, another son ten years old, and an infant daughter, also 
a man named John Carpenter. With their prisoners, and 
what plunder they could carry off, the savages made their way 
toward the Ohio ; but finding Mrs. Wallace and her infant 
somewhat troublesome, they were tomahawked and scalped. 
The two boys were carried to Sandusky, where the elder died. 
Robert was then sold to the Wyandotts, by whom he was held 
in captivity about two and a half years. His father hearing 
of him, sent a man to the Wyandott towns, giving him a 
certain mark by which the boy could be recognized, and in 
this way he was rescued, and restored to his friends. He is 
now living on Raccoon creek, a stout, hearty old man, and 
bears in distinct recollection the trials, hardships, and priva- 
tions of his captivity. He thinks his mother and little sister 
were killed near where Georgetown now stands. About three 
years subsequent to their captivity, the husband was informed 
that the remains of a woman and child had been discovered 
near the place designated. He repaired to the spot, and upon 
examination recognized the remains as those of his murdered 


wife and child. They were collected and buried at King's 
creek Meeting-house. 

The clothing of Mrs. Wallace, which were found at the 
Moravian towns, called down the vengeance of Colonel Wil- 
liamson's men upon that devoted people. 


On the night of the 5th of March, a party of Indians came 
to the house of Capt. John Thomas, on Booth's creek, one of 
the branches of the Monongahela. Capt. Thomas was a man 
of much piety, and what was perhaps unusual in the early 
days of our Republic, had regular family devotion. It was 
whilst thus engaged, surrounded by his wife and seven chil- 
dren, that the Indians approached his cabin. The settlement 
had felt no apprehension as yet of Indian depredation, as the 
season had not sufficiently advanced to cause alarm. An- 
ticipating no attack, Capt. Thomas was therefore not prepared, 
and his house not so well secured as was his custom. He had 
just repeated the line of the hymn, 

" Go worship at Immanuel's feet," 

as the Indians approached and fired. The christian father 
fell dead at the moment, and a band of savages forcing the 
door, entered and commenced the work of death. Mrs. Thomas 
implored their mercy for herself and children ; but, alas ! the 
savage knows no mercy for feeble woman or helpless infancy. 
The tomahawk did its work, until the mother and six children 
lay weltering in blood, by the side of the slaughtered father. 
They then proceeded to scalp the fallen, and plunder the 
house, and then departed, taking with them one little boy, a 

"Elizabeth Juggins, (daughter of John Juggins, who had 
been murdered in that neighborhood, the preceding year) was 
at the house of Capt. Thomas, when the Indians came, but as 


soon as slie heard the report of the gun and saw Capt. Thomas 
fall, she threw herself under the bed, and escaped observa- 
tion of the savages. After they had completed the work 
of blood and left the house, fearing that they might be lin- 
gering near, she remained in that situation until the house 
was found on fire. When she crawled forth from her asylum, 
Mrs. Thomas was still alive, though unable to move; and 
casting a pitying glance towards her murdered infant, asked 
that it might be handed to her. Upon seeing Miss Juggins 
about to leave the house, she exclaimed, " Oh, Betsey, do not 
leave us !" Still anxious for her own safety, the girl rushed 
out, and taking refuge for the night between two logs, in the 
morning early, spread the alarm. 

" When the scene of these enormities was visited, Mrs. 
Thomas was found in the yard, much managled by the toma- 
hawk and considerably torn by hogs — she had, perhaps in 
the struggle of death, thrown herself out at the door. The 
house, together with Captain Thomas and the children, was a 
heap of ashes." 

The fate of this pious family is but one in the long cata- 
logue of bloody doings which mark the pages of our western 
history. It required a christian's heart, and the christian's 
hope, to live amid such scenes unmoved and unawed. Who 
can contemplate the fate of that unfortunate family without 
emotions of poignant sorrow. How happy was the morning 
which dawned upon them, but, alas, how terrible the evening ! 

In April of this year, three brothers, Mathias, Simon and 
Michael Schoolcraft, left Buchanan's Fort, and went to the 
head of Stone-coal creek, for the purpose of hunting. On 
their way back, a party of Indians fired upon them, killing 
the first-named brother, and taking the others prisoners. 
These, with other members of the family previously taken 
never returned. A singular fatality seemed to attend this 
family. The three brothers whose names we have just given, 


constituted the last of fifteen, who either fell before the rifle 
or tomahawk, or suff'ered, perhaps, a more dreadful fate in 
the hands of their captors. 

The founder of this Virginia branch of the Schoolcraft 
family, was one of the earliest settlers on the upper Mo- 
nongahela. He emigrated from central New York, mainly 
induced by the prospect of acquiring for a large family, 
suitable landed properties. Unfortunately, his family early 
fell a prey to the relentless and ever vigilant savage. The 
founder of the Virginia family was, we believe, distantly 
connected with the distinguished author, Henry R. School- 
craft, whose magnificent work just issued^ (1851) is alike 
creditable to himself, the government (by whose munificence 
it has been published,) and the cause of American literature. 
It seems not a little remakable, that while one member of the 
family branch should have been devoting almost his whole 
life to studying means for bettering and promoting the con- 
dition of the Indians, members of another branch, and they 
constituting a numerous family, should have been totally 
exterminated by the same savage hands. 


In September of this year, occurred what may be called 
the second attempt upon Wheeling. 

Fortunately, the purpose of the Indians was frustrated by 
the timely information communicated by Colonel Brodhead, 
then commanding the western division of the army. The 
despatch of Colonel B. was as follows : — 

"Fort Pitt, August 24, 1781. 

I have this moment received certain intelligence that the 

* Historical and Statistical Information respecting the History, Condition 
and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States. 



enemy are coming in great force against us, and particularly 
against Wheeling. You will immediately put your garrison 
in the best posture of defence, and lay in as great a quantity 
of water as circumstances will admit, and receive them coolly. 
They intend to decoy your garrison, but you are to guard 
against stratagem, and defend the post to the last extremity. 
You may rely upon every aid in my power to frustrate the 
designs of the enemy ; but you must not fail to give the alarm 
to the inhabitants in your reach, and make it as general as 
possible, in order that every man may be prepared at this 

I am, sir, your most obedient servant, 

(Signed) Daniel Brodhead, 

Col. Commanding W. D. 
To the Commanding Officer at Fort Henry, Wheeling." 

This information, as may well be supposed, startled the 
inhabitants at Wheeling ; but, not unmindful of the notice, 
they put themselves in readiness to meet and resist any attack 
the enemy might make. The fort was immediately placed in 
proper condition for defence, and nothing left undone to 
ensure their safety. 

About ten days after the reception of the despatch of Col. 
-Brodhead, a party of over one hundred Indians suddenly 
appeared in the vicinity of the fort. The first intimation 
those within the stockade had of the presence of the enemy, 
was by a boy named George Reikart, reaching the fort almost 
exhausted, who stated that a large party of Indians were at 
the spring, (near the hill,) and that they had killed his com- 
panion, John Byan, and taken David Glenn prisoner. 

The approach of the Indians had been so sudden and noise- 
less, that Ryan was shot down, and Glenn taken prisoner, but 
Reikart, who was some distance off, gathering walnuts, escaped. 
Just as he entered the fort-gate, a rifle-ball struck him on the 

In a moment, those within were ready to receive them ; but, 
it is supposed, that the savages, from information of Glenn, 
anticipated a warm reception, and deemed it better valor to 
make off at once. This they did, after demanding in a pompous 


manner, the surrender of the fort, which request the inmates 
very politely declined acceding to. 

Thus, owing to the timely information of Col. Brodhead, 
the settlement at Wheeling was, doubtless, saved from what 
might have been a bloody visitation. 


Of the many primitive places of defence which sprung up 
at an early day in the forests of North-western Virginia, was 
that of Link's block-house, on middle Wheeling creek. It 
was built by Jonathan Link, in 1780, and served to shelter 
the defenceless settlers of the neighborhood. This rude 
structure stood a few miles from the present town of Triadel- 
phia, and early became the scene of a bloody occurrence. 

In the fall of 1781, a party of fifteen or twenty Indians, 
returning from an excursion to the interior, made an attack 
upon this block-house so suddenly, that Link and two of his 
men were instantly killed, and several taken prisoners. The 
men had been at a shooting match, and it is supposed may 
have indulged rather too freely to present a vigorous defence. 

Of those taken prisoner, was William Hawkins, who lived 
within a few miles,^ but who had gone to attend the shooting 
match. Hawkins told the Indians, if they did not kill him 
he would go quietly to his house. This they agreed to, but 
his family hearing their approach, (Hawkins spoke loud so as 
to give the alarm,) secreted themselves in time. A daughter, 
however, was discovered and taken prisoner, and another 
member of the family killed. 

The savages, after plundering the house, marched their 
prisoners in front, and proceeding a mile or two, ordered the 

1 The families of the neighborhood had temporarily withdrawn to gather 
their crops, &c. The Indians had not been very troublesome for some time, 
and it was supposed there would be no danger in returning to their homes. 


daughter on ahead. They then took Hawkins and another 
prisoner, named Presly Peak, to the summit of a ridge, tied 
them to separate trees, and tomahawked them. 


This was a fatal and trying year to the frontier settlements 
of Virginia. The enemy were early in the field, and almost 
ceaseless in their attacks upon the comparatively defenceless 
inhabitants. The expeditions of Williamson, Crawford, &c., 
seemed but to arouse the savages to increased acts of bar- 
barity. They penetrated some distance to the interior, and 
waged their ruthless and indiscriminating warfare with an 
energy and ferocity rarely equalled. 

Family after family fell before their approach, until the 
whole country became aroused to the extent of their depre- 
dations. Their blows fell with particular severity upon the 
settlements along the upper Monongahela. 

In the neighborhood of Clarksburgh many acts of hostility 
were committed, which greatly alarmed the adjacent settle- 

The following, which we extract from Mr. "Withers' sketches, 
cannot but be interesting to most readers of western history. 
We much regret the instance of human depravity which it 
details ; but for the credit of our nature, we can say, such 
instances were very rare in the early days of the west. 

" On the 8th of March, as William White, Timothy Dorman 
and his wife, were going to, and within sight of Buchanan 
fort, some guns were discharged at them, and WTiite being 
shot through the hips, fell from his horse, and was then toma- 
hawked, scalped and mutilated in the most frightful manner. 
Dorman and his wife were taken prisoners. The people in 
the fort heard the firing, and flew to arms ; but the river in- 
tervening, the savages cleared themselves before the whites 
crossed over. 

"After the death of White (one of their most active, cau- 

1782.] A DANGEROUS MAN. 261 

tious, and vigilant spies) and the capture of Dorman, it was 
resolved to abandon the fort, and seek elsewhere security 
from the greater ills which it was found would befall them if 
they remained. This apprehension arose from the fact, that 
Dorman was then with the savages, and that to gratify his 
enmity to particular individuals in the settlement, he would 
unite with the Indians, and /row Ms Tcnowledge of the coun- 
try, he enabled to conduct them the more securely to blood 
and plunder. He was a man of a sanguinary and revengeful 
disposition, prone to quarrelling, and had been known to say 
that if he caught particular individuals with whom he was at 
variance, in the woods alone, he would murder them and attri- 
bute it to the savages. The fearful apprehensions of increased 
and aggravated injuries after taking him prisoner, were well 
founded. Subsequent events fully proved, that but for the 
evacuation of the fort, and the removal of the inhabitants, 
all would have fallen before the fury of savage warriors, with 
this white miscreant at their head. 

" While some of the inhabitants of that settlement were en- 
gaged in moving their property to a fort in Tygart's valley 
(the others moving to Nutter's fort and Clarksburg), they were 
fired upon by a party of savages, and two of them, Michael 
Hagle and Elias Paynter, fell. The horse which a man named 
Bush rode, was shot through ; yet Bush succeeded in extri- 
cating himself, and escaped, though closely pursued by one of 
the savages. Several times the Indian following him, called 
out, " Stop, and you shall not he hurt. If you do not, I will 
shoot you r' and once, Bush, nearly exhausted and in despair 
of getting off, actually relaxed his pace for the purpose of 
yielding himself a prisoner, when turning round he saw the 
savage stop, and commence loading his gun. This inspired 
Bush with fear for the consequences, and renewing his 
flight, finally escaped. Edward Tanner, a youth, was taken 
prisoner, and in going to their towns, met between twenty and 
thirty savages, headed by Timothy Dorman, proceeding to 
attack Buchanan fort. Learning from him that the inhabitants 


were moving from it, and that it would be abandoned in a few 
days, the Indians pursued their journey with so much haste, 
that Dorman had well nigh failed from fatigue. They ar- 
rived, however, too late for the accomplishment of their bloody 
purpose ; the settlement had been deserted, and the inhabi- 
tants were safe within the walls of other forts. 

" A few days after the evacuation of Buchanan fort, some of 
its former inmates went from Clarksburg for grain which had 
been left at Buchanan. They found a heap of ashes where 
the fort had stood, and other signs convinced them that the 
savages were yet lurking about. They, however, continued 
to go from farm to farm collecting the grain, but with the 
utmost vigilance, and at night went to an out-house, near 
where the fort had stood. Here they found a paper, with the 
name of Timothy Dorman attached to it, dated at the Indian 
towns, and containing information of those who had been 
taken captive in that part of Virginia. 

" Early in the morning, as some of the men went from 
the house to mill, they saw the savages crossing the river, 
Dorman being with them. Thinking it best to impress them 
with a belief that they were able to encounter them in open 
conflict, the men advanced towards the foe, calling to their 
companions in the house, to come on. The Indians fled hastily 
to the woods, and the whites, not so rash as to pursue them, 
retmmed to the house, and secured themselves in it, as well as 
they could. At night, Capt. George Jackson went privately 
from the house, and at great hazard of being discovered, 
proceeded to Clarksburg, and obtained such aid as enabled 
him to escort his companions in safety to that place. 

" Disappointed in their hopes of involving the inhabitants of 
Buchanan settlement in destruction, the savages went on to 
the Valley. Between Westfall's and Wilson's forts, they came 
upon John Bush and his wife, Jacob Stalnaker and his son 
Adam. The latter were riding in the rear of Bush and his 
wife ; Adam was killed. The old gentleman rode briskly on, 
but some of the savages were before, and endeavored to catch 


his bridle-reins. He, however, escaped in safety. The horse 
from which Adam Stalnaker had fallen, was caught by Bush, 
and both he and Mrs. Bush got safely away on him." 


The last beleaguerment of the fort at Wheeling, was 
certainly one of the most important events in the settlement 
of the north-west, — one, upon which it may emphatically be 
said, the very existence of the frontier of Virginia depended. 

On the eleventh day of September, 1782, a body of three 
hundred and fifty Indians and whites ; the former, Shawa- 
nese and Delawares, under the command of George Girty,^ 
and the latter, a company known as the " Queen's Rangers," 
commanded by Captain Pratt, made their appearance in 
front of the little stockade at Wheeling, and peremptorily 
demanded a surrender. The besiegers marched up in regular 
file, headed by a fife and drum,^ with the British flag flying 
over them. 

Girty, upon whom the whole command devolved, defiled his 
men by the spring near where the market-house now stands, 
and in the name of the British Governor demanded a sur- 
render. He promised to all who would give up, " the best pro- 
tection King George could afford." To this, the brave and 
dauntless inmates of the fort returned contemptuous answers, 
and defied the savages, both white and red, to do their worst. 

Girty, deeming it imprudent to commence the attack in 
daylight, kept his men at a convenient distance until night- 

• This was a brother of Simon Girty, and said by many to have been more 
ruthless than his brother. It is believed that much of the obloquy which 
fell upon Simon, justly belonged to the other. According to Stover, George 
was conspicuous at the burning of Colonel Crawford, and acted in the most 
heartless manner towards that unfortunate of&cer, as well as towards 
himself (Stover). 

2 Stephen Burkam, lately deceased, was in the fort at the time, and says 
the " music" was the best he ever heard. 


fall. The conversation, however, was continued between the 
besieged and besiegers, the former delighting to load the 
renegade with the most opprobrious epithets. Shots were 
occasionally fired at him, but the distance was too great for 

Fortunately for the inmates, that the attack had not com- 
menced half an hour earlier. For some days previous to the 
appearance of the savages, scouts had been across the Ohio, 
but discovering no traces of the enemy, returned on the 
afternoon of Saturday, and reported accordingly. This news 
had the eifect of lulling the inmates into a feeling of security, 
so that it was scarcely deemed necessary to fasten the gates 
at night. 

A day or two previous to the time of which we write, 
Andrew Zane had gone to Catfish, for a supply of liquor. 
Returning with two kegs, (one in each end of a bag,) he dis- 
covered, as he supposed, when near the present site of Mount 
Wood Cemetery, indications of Indians. Concealing his kegs, 
he hurried to the fort with all haste, and gave the alarm. Those 
who had just returned from the Indian country, laughed at 
his fears, but most of the men said they would go along, and 
have a " spree." 

Nearly the whole efficient force of the garrison accompanied 
Zane, and finding no Indians, repaired to the spring already 
alluded to, and there treated themselves to a glorious " blow 
out." Before starting with Zane, it was deemed advisable, 
with the characteristic caution of experienced frontiermen, to 
send across the river two spies, who might give the alarm in 
case of danger.^ As the party at the spring were busy with 
their "grog," the alarm guns of the scouts were fired on the 
island, and at the same moment, a large body of Indians were 
crossing the creek, just above back-water. A simultaneous 
rush was made for the fort ; and scarcely had the last man 

1 These men were Peter Neiswanger and Hambleton Kerr, both experienced 


entered, wlien the Indians appeared in large numbers crossing 
the bottom. 

All at once became activity and bustle within the fort. 
The men prepared for an energetic defence, each arming 
himself with a rifle, tomahawk, scalping knife and spear. 
The women were busy in running bullets, securing the chil- 
dren, etc. The whole number of fighting men within the 
stockade did not exceed eighteen, while the number of women 
and children was about forty. (See Note D., end Chap. I.) 

Shortly before the enemy appeared, a pirogue loaded with 
cannon-balls, designed for Gen. Clark, at Louisville, in charge 
of a man named Sullivan, and two others, landed at Wheeling, 
to remain over night. Sullivan was a shrewd and experienced 
soldier, well versed in Indian cunning ; and on this account 
was selected to manage the aifairs of the fort during the 
siege, as the commandant. Captain Boggs, had gone for 
succor immediately on the alarm of the enemy's approach. 
Sullivan was a man of discrimination and courage, and well 
qualified for the post of commander. His shrill voice could 
be heard at all hours, urging on the men, and consoling the 
women. But at length he was wounded, and for a time had to 
give way. 

About sundown, Girty made a second demand for surrender, 
declaring that should be his last summons, and swearing, if 
they refused, that the fort would be stormed, and every soul 
massacred. He was answered by taunts of defiance ; said 
they remembered too well the fate of Col. Crawford, to give 
up, and be butchered like dogs. Girty replied, that their 
doom was sealed — he had taken their express, and all hope 
of safety might be given up. Sullivan inquired what kind of 
looking man the messenger was? "A fine, smart, active young 
fellow," answered the outlaw chief. " That's a d — d lie," 
said Sullivan, "he is an old gray-headed man." 

Finding all attempts to intimidate in vain, Girty led on his 
white and red army of savages, and attempted to carry out 
his threat of stormino; the fort. 

266 HERO-WOMEN. [ChAP. I. 

Near the centre of the stockade, and at a point sufficiently 
elevated to clear the pickets, was a small French cannon,^ 
which the enemy could at times see, but which they tauntingly 
said was " wood,"^ and dared them to " shoot." Having ap- 
proached within a convenient distance, and just as the whole 
party was pressing up in deep columns, the "bull-dog" was 
let off, cutting a wide passage through the ranks of wondering 
and affrighted savages. Captain Pratt, who had heard guns, 
and knew how they sounded, cried out to his swarthy comrades, 
" Stand back ; by G — , there's no wood about that !" 

The Indians and the " Rangers" gave way at the first 
discharge, but soon rallied and returned. Girty divided his 
force into small parties, and attacked the fort at different 
points ; now attempting to storm it ; and again to fire it. 
In this manner the siege was kept up during the whole 
night ; and but few such nights were ever passed upon the 

One of the bastions having given way, but two were of 
use, and these the men occupied in turn. The women, during 
the whole of that long and perilous night, proved themselves 
heroines of no ordinary type. They stood at their posts like 
soldiers of a dozen campaigns, cooling and loading the rifles 
of their husbands, brothers, and lovers. Such women were 
worthy the love and devotion of men like these. No timid 
shrieks escaped them; no maidenly fears caused them to 
shrink from their self-imposed and most onerous task. Such 
were the pioneer mothers of the west — women whose souls 
and bodies were so sorely tried in the fierce fire of our Indian 
wars. Through the whole of that long and terrible night, 
without food and without rest, did these brave and noble 

1 This cannon was found in the Monongahela, at Pittsburg, by a man 
named Neeley, while swimming. It had been spiked and thrown into the 
river by the French, when they abandoned Fort Du Quesne. 

2 A year or two previous to this occurrence, some of the men about Fort 
Henry attempted to make a wooden cannon. This fact the Indians learned 
from a prisoner, then in their possession. 

1782.] WOODEN CANNON. 267 

women stand to their duty, regardless of fatigue, but nerving 
their hearts to the contest, and animating the men with hope 
and courage. The Greek matron, who urged her son to the 
conflict, charging him to return with his shield or upon it, 
displayed no more zeal, devotion, and true courage, than these 
hero-women of the west. History is full of examples of female 
heroism. Israel had her Judith and Deborah ; France glories 
in her Joan and Lavalette ; — two of them unsexed themselves 
in the excitement of battle; one ingloriously stained her 
hands in human gore, and the other had nothing to lose by 
her successful efforts ; but the western heroines, without the 
eclat of female warriors, displayed more true courage through- 
out the long and stormy days of our Indian warfare, and ex- 
hibited more of the true spirit of heroism, than any example 
in ancient or modern history. 

At an early hour in the evening, the Indians descried the 
pirogue already referred to, and at once resolved to try the 
sport of cannonading. Procuring a stout log of sufficient size 
and length, these simple-minded men split it open, and having 
cut out the centre with their tomahawks, fastened the parts 
together with iron bands, and chains, found in a smith-shop 
belonging to a man named Reikart. They then charged it 
heavily with powder and ball, and first announcing that their 
artillery had arrived, applied the torch, when instantaneously 
a half-dozen of the gaping savages, who had clustered around 
to witness the discharge, were blown into eternity. Their 
frail gun had bursted, scattering death and consternation all 

During the night, a large number of Indians posted them- 
selves in the loft of a house which stood thirty or forty yards 
north of the fort. These amused themselves by dancing, 
shouting, and yelling, making night hideous with their horrid 
noise. Thinking to dislodge them, several inefTectual attempts 
were made to do so with grape shot ; but failing, a full-sized 
ball was fired, which cut off a sleeper, and let the whole 


mass clown together. This disaster frightened the assailants 
off for a time. 

The cannon was fired sixteen times during the first night, 
doing more or less execution at each discharge. It was man- 
aged bj a man named John Tait, shortly afterwards killed 
and partly eaten by the savages, on Dillie's bottom, opposite 
Grave creek. ^ 

At the time of the Indian visitation in 1777, it will be 
remembered, they burned all the houses, killed the cattle, 
etc. Similar outrages were again attempted in 1781, and 
then Colonel Ebenezer Zane resolved, that should the savages 
again visit the settlement, he would remain in his house and 
perish, sooner than abandon it to the torch of the enemy. On 
the re-appearance of the Indians, Colonel Zane continued at 
his house, and declared his fixed determination to defend it 
to the last. In the house with him were several members of 
his family, including his brother Silas. There were also two 
brothers by the name of Green, and a black servant, by the 
name of Sam. So constantly did these four keep up the fire 
against the enemy, that they were slow to approach within 
range of the guns.^ 

' Just before daylight, one of the sentinels discovered a person approaching 
the sally-port gate, and supposing him to be an enemy, fired upon him at the 
moment of discovery. It proved to be a negro who was making his escape. 
His piteous cries from the wound and fright, (he was shot through the right 
breast,) induced the inmates to open the gate, and let him in. He gave 
much information of the condition and resources of the enemy. 

The fellow was handcuffed, and a rope placed about his neck, by which 
his guard led him around the fort, wherever duty or occasion might call. 
He was committed to the care and keeping of Miss Lydia Boggs, now Mrs. 
Cruger, who has frequently told the author that she was ready at any time 
to tomahawk him if he attempted to molest her, or escape. He was believed 
to be a spy. 

2 An incident occui-red, in connection with this, which it may not be 
unimportant to relate. On making the discovery that the house was tenanted, 
Girty inquired who were the occupants. He was answered, "Some sick 
children." "Ain't you afraid we will kill them?" asked the outlaw. " No 
matter," rejoined those in the fort, " they will die any how." 


The fortunes of the night were often variable. The enemy 
at one time appeared to have the vantage, but again, their 
schemes were frustrated by the energy and skill of those 
within the fort. More than twenty times did they attempt to 
fire the stockade, by heaping bundles of hemp against the 
walls, and kindling them at different points. Most fortunately, 
however, the hemp was wet, and could not be made to burn. 
Dry wood and other combustibles were tried, but all in vain. 
Day at length dawned upon the hopes of that almost despair- 
ing people ; and never did Aurora display her beauties to a 
more admiring or a more rejoicing group. The night had 
been long, and full of gloomy terror. They knew not at what 
moment the formidable enemy would crush the walls of their 
frail enclosure ;^ but come what might, they resolved to stand 
firm to the last. 

Immediately after day-break the Indians and British with- 
drew to the spring, and a cessation of hostilities for several 
hours ensued. 

It was about noon of this day that an incident occurred 
which has been the theme of history, poetry and romance. 
"We allude to the "gunpowder exploit," as it is familiarly 
known in border story. 

As we have already stated. Colonel Zane remained in his 
cabin near the fort,^ during the whole siege. Findino; that 
his supply of powder was likely to run out, he proposed to 
those present, that some one of them would have to visit the 
fort and renew the stock. It was known to be a hazardous 
undertaking, and unwilling to order either of the white men 
to so perilous an enterprise. Colonel Zane submitted the 

'' Mrs. Cruger, as we have before stated, was an inmate of the fort, and 
says the pickets were so niucli decayed in places, that they could not have 
■withstood a united pressure from the enemy. Duiing the night, several at 
the north-west corner, from which the hottest fire had been kept up, gave 
way and fell, but owing to a heavy growth of peach trees on the outside, 
the fact was not discovered by the enemy. They were immediately replaced. 

2 This house stood near the same spot now occupied by the stone mansion 
of Mrs. Dorsey, late Mrs. Noah Zane. 


matter to their own devotion and courage. One of them 
instantly proffered his services, but a female member of Col. 
Zane's family came forward and said, " No ! 1 will go ; 
sJiould I be hilled, J can he better spared than one of these 
men." That woman, according to the traditionary accounts 
of the country, was Elizabeth Zane, sister to Colonel Zane.^ 
She is represented to have been a young woman of great 
resolution and much energy of character, and those who 
knew her intimately say unhesitatingly, that she was just the 
person for such an exploit. Preparing herself for the feat, 
the intrepid girl stepped from the cabin and bounded to the 
fort with the speed of a deer. A number of Indians con- 
cealed in the neighborhood, saw her emerge from the cabin, 
but did not attempt to shoot, only exclaiming with con- 
temptuous epithets, " Squaw, squaw." She reached the fort, 
and tying about her person eight or ten pounds of powder, 
again ventured forth and moved rapidly towards the cabin of 
Colonel Zane. Suspecting all was not right, the savages 
opened upon her a volley of rifle balls, but unscathed, the 
courageous girl bounded into the arms of those who stood 
ready to receive her. 

■■ Within recent years, a most unfortunate difficulty has arisen as to the 
real heroine on this occasion. We have for months prosecuted a most 
searching inquiry into all the facts and cii'cumstances connected with this 
affair, but the further we seemed to push our inquiries, the more the mystery 
appeared to thicken. Despairing of being able to establish the fact satis- 
factorily, we have concluded to submit the testimony to our readers ; giving 
the credit to Elizabeth Zane, but exhibiting the counter-claim in behalf of 
MoUy Scott, as will be found in the letter of the venerable Mrs. Cruger, at 
the close of this chapter (Note E). This seems the only course we could 
rightly pui-sue. Mrs. Cruger is a most important and reliable witness, and 
to discard her testimony, would be to go further than we are vrilling to do. 
Her statement too, has been sustained by other cotemporary witnesses. The 
proof in favor of Elizabeth Zane is most abundant ; so that at best, the whole 
matter as to ivho performed the exploit, is still in doubt and mystery. It is 
barely possible that there may have been ttvo "gunpowder" incidents ; one 
in September 1781, and the other in the following fall. One of the parties 
may have carried powder at the first, and the other, at the second. This 
seems the only way in which the conflicting claims can be reconciled. 

1782.] ATTACK ON RICE'S FORT. 271 

That act of the heroic and single-hearted female saved the 
inmates of Colonel Zane's house from certain destruction. 
Their ammunition had been exhausted, and every soul would 
have fallen a sure prey to the fury of the savages, had not 
a supply been obtained. 

Night closing in, the enemy renewed the attack, and 
maintained it without intermission until daybreak. 

Shortly after sunrise, the enemy despairing of success, 
commenced killing the cattle, burning the vacant cabins, &c. 

About ten o'clock a. m., an Indian spy, who had been sent 
out to watch the approach of a relief, returned, and when 
within sight of the fort, gave a long, deep, peculiar whoop, 
which the well-trained Indian hunters fully understood as a 
signal to be oif. Scarcely had the echoes of his shout ceased 
reverberating along the valley than the entire hostile army 
moved rapidly toward the river, which they crossed near 
where the North- Western Bank now stands. In less than 
half an hour after their retreat. Captain Williamson with 
seventy mounted men rode up to the fort, and great was the 
rejoicing at the appearance of his gallant band. Thus ended 
the final investment of Fort Henry. The Indians never 
again attempted to molest it, but gave the place as wide a 
latitude as convenient in their expeditions against the back 


After raising the siege at Wheeling, a division of the 
enemy visited the settlements on Short and Buffalo creeks, 
but the people had all taken the precaution to shut themselves 
up in block-houses. Determined, however, to effect a mas- 
sacre somewhere, out of revenge for their failure at Fort 
Wheeling, the party made a descent upon Rice's Fort.-^ In- 

^ Piice's fort stood on Buffalo creek, aljout fourteen miles from the river. 


formation had luckily reached the inmates of the Indians' 
design, and they were prepared for them. The Indians 
surrounded the fort and demanded a surrender, saying, 
^^ Grive up, give ujj ; too many Injun — Injun too hig ; no 
hill.'' But the sturdy frontiermen thought differently, and 
answered with shouts of defiance : " Come on, cowards, we 
are ready for you ; show us your yellow skins, and we'll make 
holes in them for you !" This was what may be considered 
hrag, however, as the fort was but illy defended, many of 
their men having gone to Hagerstown, Md., to exchange 
their peltries for ammunition, salt, &c. The savages finding 
they could make no impression upon the inmates, withdrew 
until nine or ten o'clock at night, when they fired a large and 
well filled barn which stood within thirty yards of the fort. 
The position of the building and the course of the wind saved 
the fort from destruction, and its inmates from massacre. 

After the barn was set on fire, the Indians collected on 
the side of the fort opposite, so as to have the advantage of 
the light, and kept up a pretty constant fire, which was as 
steadily answered by those in the fort, until about two o'clock, 
when the Indians left the place and made a hasty retreat. 

The names of those who defended this little fortress were 
Jacob Miller, George Lefler, Peter Fullenweider, Daniel Rice, 
George Felebaum and Jacob Lefler, Jr. George Felebaum 
was shot in the forehead, through a port-hole, at the second 
fire of the Indians, and instantly expired, so that in reality 
the defence of the place was made by only five men. 

The ascertained loss of the Indians was four, three of 
whom were killed at the first fire from the fort, the other 
was killed about sundown. There can be no doubt but that 
a number more were killed and wounded in the engagement, 
but concealel or carried off. 

1782.] dillie's block-house. 273 


In the year 1782, rumor having reached Dillie's block- 
house, a small stockade opposite Grave creek, on the farm now 
owned by Col. John Thompson, that an attack was meditated 
upon Ryerston's station, which was near the line between 
Virginia and Pennsylvania, it was deemed expedient to 
send a detachment to the relief of the station. During the 
absence of the men, a party of Indians took possession of a 
corn field near the block-house. The night being extremely 
warm, one of the inmates, named Piatt, said he would go and 
sleep in the cabin, as he could not endure the fleas. His wife 
and five children, went along. The cabin stood about three 
hundred yards from the block-house. At the break of day, 
the Indians attacked, and murdered every member of that ill- 
fated family. A woman at the block-house heard the guns, 
and expressed fears that the Indians were attacking the cabin, 
but others said it was the men returning from Ryerston's. 

The savages soon presented themselves before the block- 
house, brandishing the bloody scalps of their victims, and 
demanded a surrender. Old Mr. Winter tauntingly replied, 
they had plenty of men, and would give them cold lead in 
abundance if they remained any longer. Fearing they might 
meet with warm work, the savages made off without further 
delay. There were not six fighting men in the house at that 

Early in the fall, a party of Indians came upon the pre- 
mises of a man named Yates, living not far from the residence 
of the late Colonel Woods, and succeeded in getting between a 
young man named Peter Starnator and Yates' house. Star- 
nator was a few hundred yards in advance when he dis- 
covered the Indians, and finding it unsafe to attempt to 
return, started at full speed down the bottom. The savages, 
however, proved too fleet for him, as he was overtaken and 



shot in the Narrows, near where Mr. Steenrod now lives. The 
Indian who killed him was so close that the shot made a hole 
in the skull large enough to admit a man's hand. 

He was taken to Wheeling, and interred in the old burial 
ground, upon which the North- Western Bank now stands. 


During the same fall, another family, named Tait, living 
about half a mile below the block-house, was attacked by a 
party of Indians, and four of them killed. A son, fif- 
teen years of age, in attempting to bar the savages out, was 
severely wounded by a ball in the mouth. His father at 
length was shot down, and the youth secreted himself behind 
a barrel. The door was then forced open, and the savages 
entered. The father and two small children were immediately 
tomahawked and scalped. Mrs. Tait had concealed herself 
on the "log pole," but was soon discovered and dispatched. 
The cannibals then commenced the revolting work of cutting 
pieces from the old man's breasts and thighs, which were 
roasted and eaten 1 During the time they were thus engaged, 
the boy managed to drag his mother off the fire without being 

As many writers have denied the existence of American 
cannibalism, it may not be inopportune to cite here some 
authority in proof of it. At a recent meeting of the American 
Academy of Arts and Sciences, Professor Shepherd, who has 
lately spent some time in exploring the mining regions on the 
shores of Lake Superior, related an instance of the most 
horrible cannibalism among the Ojibbeway tribe of Indians, 
on the north shore of the Lake. " He frequently passed on 
foot, alone and unarmed, by the hut of an Indian, who had 
killed and eaten his wife and two children. The personal 
appearance of this savage monster, as might natm-ally be 
supposed, was horrible beyond description." 


Another important witness is Hon. Lewis Cass, of Michigan. 
In his oration, delivered at Fort Wayne, Indiana, July 4, 
1843, on the occasion of celebrating the opening of the Wabash 
and Erie canal, the distinguished orator said : 

" The line of your canal was a bloody war-path, which has 
seen many a deed of horror. And this peaceful town has 
had its Moloch, and the records of human depravity furnish 
no more horrible examples of cruelty than were offered at his 

The Miami Indians, our predecessors in the occupation of 
this district, had a fearful institution, whose origin and objects 
have been lost in the darkness of aboriginal history, but 
which continued to a late period, and whose orgies were held 
upon the very spot where we now are. It was called the Man- 
eating Society, and its was the duty of its associates to eat 
such prisoners as were preserved and delivered to them for 
that purpose. The members of this society belonged to a 
particular family, and the dreadful inheritance descended to 
all the children, male and female. The duties it imposed 
could not be avoided, and the sanctions of religion were added 
to the obligations of immemorable usage. The feast was a 
solemn ceremony, at which the whole tribe was collected, as 
actors or spectators. The miserable victim was bound to a 
stake, and burned at a slow fire, with all the refinements of 
cruelty which savage ingenuity could invent. There was a 
traditionary ritual, which regulated, with revolting precision, 
the whole course of procedure at these ceremonies. Latterly 
the authority and obligations of the institution had declined, 
and I presume it has now wholly disappeared. But I have 
seen and conversed with the head of the family, the chief of 
the society, whose name was White Skin. With what feelings 
of disgust, I need not attempt to describe. I well knew an 
intelligent Canadian, who was present at one of the last sa- 
crifices made to this horrible institution. The victim was a 
young American, captured in Kentucky, during the revolu- 
tionary war. Here, we are now assembled in peace and 


security, celebrating the triumph of art and industry. Within 
the memory of the present generation, our countrymen have 
been thus tortured, and murdered, and devoured. But, thank 
God, that council fire is extinguished. The impious feast is 


In February of this year, a man named Hugh Cameron, 
in company Tvith another person, both of whom had been 
emj^loyed by Captain Boggs, (living at that time on his farm 
near the mouth of Boggs' run,) went out to the camp, which 
was a short distance from the house, to boil sugar. Although 
so early in the season, the Indians had commenced their 
depredations, and Captain B., a few days previously, removed 
his family to the fort at Wheeling. Cameron and his com- 
panion had been cautioned by Captain B. and others to be 
on their guard, and that one should watch while the other 
slept. The men, however, as was too often the case in those 
days, disregarded the admonition, and one of them at least 
paid for the temerity with his life. 

At night, the savages stole upon their tent and killed 
Cameron, but in the darkness his companion escaped. The 
remains of the unfortunate man were found some years after, 
those of the body lying near the mouth of Boggs' run, and 
the skull half a mile up that stream, carried there, it was 
supposed, by some wild animal : they were identified by a 
peculiar tooth. 

rORT HENRY. 277 


The stockade at Wheeling, of which a most perfect representation is given 
in our drawing, was one of the earliest built in the west, and is memorable 
for having undergone two distinct sieges which, for duration, severity, and 
manly resistance, are unequalled in the annals of the west. It was built in 
1774, and stood upon the spot now occupied by " Zane's row," and the 
present residence of Colonel Charles D. Knox. It was considered one of the 
most substantial structures of the kind, in the valley of the Ohio, and is 
said to have been planned by no less a personage than George Rogers Clark, 
certainly one of the first military genius in the land. (The reader will 
notice elsewhere, that Clark was at Wheeling in the spring of 1774, at 
which time the fort was projected, and it is not therefore improbable, his 
master mind may have suggested the plan of this celebrated stockade.) 
Fc rt Henryi was a parallelogram, having its greatest length along the river. 
The pickets were of white oak, and about seventeen feet in height ; it was 
supported by bastions, and thus well adapted for resisting a savage force, 
however powerful. It contained several cabins, arranged along the western 
wall. The commandant's house, store-house, etc., were in the centre ; the 
captain's house was two stories high, and the top so adapted as to be used 
for firing a small cannon from : this, the artist has caught, and shown in his 
drawing. The store-house was but one story, and very strong, so as to 
answer for a lock-up. No regular garrison was maintained at this post, or 
at least, only for a very brief period. When Lord Dunmore returned from 
Camp Charlotte, he left some twenty or thirty men at the fort, who remained 
during most of the following year. Towards the close of 1776, the Virginia 
Convention, apprehending renewed outbreak on the part of the Indians, since 
the repudiation of Dunmore's government, ordered the post at Wheeling to 
be garrisoned by fifty men ; this order, however, was not fulfilled. 

In the fall of the same year, (1776), three new counties having been 
created in the west, (Ohio, Youghiogheny, and Monongahela,) the authori- 
ties of the first named lost no time in preparing to meet any force 
that might be sent against them. Their militia were organized, and other 
steps taken for a vigorous and successful resistance. 

' This stockade was originally called Fort Fincastle, after the then most 
western county. In 1776, it was refitted, and named Fort Henry, in honor 
of Virginia's patriotic and eloquent governor. 



There seems to be a wide-spread error, as to the date of this occurrence: 
Within recent years, several writers have sprung up who pertinaciously 
insist that the "first battle of Wheeling," was on the twenty-sixth of Septem- 
ber, 1777. Another gentleman, delving among the old records of Ohio 
county, thought he had discovered the true and unquestionable date in one 
of the early order books of said county, and says that the siege commenced 
on the 27th of September. Convinced, from information in our possession, 
that these were both wrong, we determined to right the matter, and estab- 
lish the truth. This we have found a most diflBcult task. To upset an 
authenticated record, we knew would be a troublesome matter ; but feeling not 
unlike Sir Walter Raleigh when he burned his history, because a fact which he 
was personally cognizant of had been contradicted, we resolved to go no 
further until we had investigated the case most thoroughly, and could satisfy 
o\irselves most fully. All the evidence at hand tended most conclusively to 
prove that ih^ first, and not the twenty- sixth or twenty-seventh of September 
was the day upon which the siege commenced. But how would this evidence 
weigh against the order referred to,^ was the question? With much labor 
and investigation, we are at length able to reconcile the apparent discre- 
pancy. Sergeant Jacob Ogle was not killed at Wheeling, as the record would 
seem to imply, although it does not say so ; but was one of the two who 
escaped with his kinsman. Captain Ogle. Here then, the mystery ceases, 
and the record and the facts perfectly agree. Sergeant Jacob Ogle, we 
repeat, escaped the terrible massacre in front of the fort at AVheeling, on the 
first day of September, only to fall in the deplorable ambuscade at Grave 
creek narrows, September twenty-seventh, Ylll ! 

These facts we have derived from an undoubted source. The late Mr. 
Hedges of this county frequently stated that Sergeant Ogle was one of the 
party who feU with Foreman. 

1 Extract from Order Book No. 3, p. 144— Sept. 1789. On application 
of Mary Ogle to this court, 

" Ordered, that it be certified to the executive of the Commonwealth, that 
due proof hath been made before us, that Jacob Ogle, husband of said Mary, 
was a sergeant in Captain Joseph Ogle's company of Ohio county militia, 
and that the said Jacob Ogle was killed on the 27th day of September, 
1777, iu actual service ; and that the said Mary Ogle still remains a widow, 
endeavoring to support a family of six children, and that it is the opinion of 
this court, that the said Mary Ogle ought to draw pay as the law directs." 

LOSSES BY foreman's DEFEAT. 279 


"A list of theefiFects lost, of sundry soldiers of Captain William Foreman's 
company of Hampshire county volunteers, appraised by Lietitenant Anthony 
Miller, and Ensign David Wilson, officers of said company, being duly qualified 
for that pui'pose. 

£ s. d. 

1. Captain William Foeeman — A rifle-gun, £11 5s. shot pouch 

and horn, 10s. pocket compass, 5s. a blanket, £1 17s. 6d, . 13 17 6 

2. Edward Peterson — A rifle-gun, £11 hs. shot pouch and 

horn, 10s. blanket, 30s., 13 5 

3. Benjamin Powell — A rifle-gun, £12 10s. a blanket, £1 17s. 

6c?., shot pouch and horn, 12s. 6c?., 15 10 

4. Hambleton Foreman — A rifle-gun, £11 5s., a blanket, 30s., 

shot pouch and horn, lOs 13 5 

5. James Greene — A rifle-gun, £10, a blanket, 375. 6c?., . . 11 17 6 

6. John Wilson — A rifle-gun, £10, shot pouch and horn, 7s. 6(?. 
blanket, 22s. 6c?. 11 10 

7. Jacob Pew — A rifle-gun, £8 15s. shot pouch and horn, 10s. 
blanket, 18s. %d 10 3 9 

8. Isaac Harris — A rifle-gun, £12 10s. shot pouch and horn, 10s. 
blanket, 37s. M 14 17 6 

9. Robert M'Grew— A blanket, 22s. M. 12 6 

10. Elisha Shivers— a blanket, 22s. 6^. 12 6 

11. Henry Riser — A blanket, 375. 6c? 17 6 

12. Bahtholomew Vinet — A blanket, 22s. 6c?. 12 6 

13. Anthony Miller — ^A blanket, 22s. 6c?. 12 6 

14. John Vincent — A blanket, 30s 1 10 

15. Solomon Jones — A blanket, 30s 1 10 

16. William Ingle— A blanket, 225. M 12 6 

17. Nathan Foreman— A blanket, 225. M. 12 6 

18. Abraham Powell — A blanket, 37s. 6c?. 1 17 6 

19. Samuel Lowry — A blanket, 30s 1 10 

20. Samuel Johnston — A rifle-gun, £7 10s. shot pouch and 

horn, lOs. blanket, 225. M. . . . - 9 2 6 

We, the subscribers, do hereby certify that the within specified appraise- 
ments are just and true, to the best of our judgments ; and that the several 
articles were lost in the late unhappy defeat near M'Mechen's narrows, on 
the 27th of September, 1777 — as witness our hands, this 3d of October, 1777. 
(Signed), Anthony Miller, Lieutenant. 

David Wilson, Ensign. 
Sworn before me, David Shepherd." 



" The undersigned, having been applied to for a statement of facts 
respecting the memorable achievement at the attack on Fort Henry, 
(Wheeling,) in September, 1782, knoTra as the ' Gunpowder exploit,' would 
state as follows, viz. : 

On Monday afternoon, September 11, 1782, a body of about 300 Indians, 
and 50 British soldiers, composing part of a company known as the ' Queen's 
Rangers,' appeared in front of the fort, and demanded a surrender. These 
forces were commanded respectively by the white renegade Girty, and a 
Captain Pratt. 

The demand for a surrender was of course uncomplied with, and the 
attack then commenced. 

During the forenoon of Tuesday, September 12th, the enemy having tem- 
porarily withdrawn from the attack, but occupying a position within gun- 
shot of the fort, those within the stockade observed a female leave the 
residence of Colonel Zane, and advance with rapid movements towards the 
fort. She made for the southern gate, as it was less exposed to the fire of 
the enemy. The gate was opened immediately, and she entered in safety. 
That person was none other than Molly Scott, and the object of her mission, 
was to procure powder for those who defended the dwelling of Colonel Zane ! 
The undersigned was at that time in her 17th year, and remembers with 
perfect distinctness every circumstance connected with the incident. She 
saw Molly Scott enter the fort, assisted her in getting the powder, and 
saw her leave, and avers most positively that she, and she alone, accom- 
plished the feat referred to, and deserves aU the credit there may be attached 
to it. 

The ammunition at that time was kept in the ' store-house,' adjoining 
the residence of my father, known as the 'Captain's house.' My father 
having left for help on the commencement of the attack, and I being the 
oldest child under the paternal roof, was directed by my mother to go with 
the messenger (Molly Scott), to the store-house, and give her whatever 
ammunition she needed. This the undersigned did, and will now state without 
the fear of contradiction, that the powder was given to Molly Scott, and 7iot 
to Elizabeth Zane. 

The undersigned assisted said Molli/ Scott in placing the powder in her apron, 
and to this she is willing to be qualified at any time. * * 

Elizabeth Zane, for whom has long been claimed the credit of this heroic 
feat, was at that time at the residence of her father, near the present town 
of Washington, Pa. ***** * 

At the time of its occurrence, the achievement was not considered very 


extraordinary. Those were emphatically times when woman's heart was 
nerved to deeds of no ordinary kind; — we all felt it was then ' to do or die;' 
and the undersigned does not hesitate to say, that more than one within the 
little stockade at Wheeling, would have accomplished the feat with as much 
credit as the one whose name seems destined to an immortality in border 

But undersigned does not wish to detract any from the heroism of that 
feat, she only desires to correct a gross error — to give honor to whom honor 
is due. This she deems imperative, that the truth and justice of history 
may be maintained. 

The undersigned disclaims all unkind feelings towards any one, in relation 
to this statement. Elizabeth Zane was one of her earliest acquaintances, 
whom she knew to be a woman brave, generous and single-hearted. 
Given under my hand and seal, this 28th day of November, 1849. 

Ltdia S. Cruger. [seal.] 


The names of those who were known to have been in the fort at the time, 
we have with great pains collected, and give below. The list comprises 
twenty-seven men and six boys. Of the men, not more than eighteen were 
able to do efficient service ; the balance were either disabled by injuries 
sustained in warfare, or labored under autumnal fevers. Stephen Burkam, 
Silas, Jonathan, and Andrew Zane; Copeland Sullivan, Jacob and George 
Reikart; James Smith and his two sons, Henry and Thomas; Conrad Stroop, 

John Tait, Wright, old Mr. Mills, Edward Mills, and Thomas Mills, 

Hamilton Kerr, Alexander M'Dowell, Harry Clark, James Saltar, James 
Clark, Casper French, Conrad Wheat and four sons, James Boggs, (son of 
Captain Boggs), Martin and George Kerr, Peter Nisewanger, and two men, 
companions of Sullivan. 

Two-thirds of the above persons had families in the fort. We cannot name 
all the female soldiers of that little stockade, but trust we may not be con- 
sidered invidious for particularizing a few. There was Mrs. Ebenezer 
Zane, a skilful nurse and courageous woman ; the fort would have sufiFered 
without her ministering and tender care to the sick and wounded. Next 
was Betsy Wheat, an Amazon in strength, and a Lucretia in ferocity. Her 
loud voice, and stern word of command, to those whom she thought laggard, 
could be heard all over the fort. We have heard it said that the courage, 
energy, and devotion of this woman, did more to encourage and revive the 
drooping spirits of the despondent, than that of any other person. Next, 
and not least, was Miss Lydia Boggs, now Mrs. Cruger. 




One of tlie most remarkable escapes upon record, is that of 
Thomas Mills. The circumstancese were these. On the 30th 
day of July, !Mills and two other men, Henry Smith and 
Hambleton Kerr,^ started on a fishing excursion up the river 
from Wheeling. When near Glenn's run, a party of Indians, 
who had watched the movements of the whites, fired upon 
them, killing Smith, and wounding Mills in fourteen places. 
He had that many distinct bullet-holes in him, and yet not 
one of them was mortal. Kerr escaped. Just before the 
attack, Mills and his companions had caught an enormous 
cat-fish, (weighing 87 pounds,) and when the men were taken 
from the canoe at Wheeling, their appearance was truly 
frightful ; they were literally covered with blood and sand. 
Mills recovered from his wounds, and was recently living on 
the Ohio, near Shade river. He was in his time, a most useful 
man on the frontier, possessing great experience as a hunter 
and scout. 

' Kerr was one of tlie most efScient spies west of the Ohio river. His 
father was killed near the mouth of Duck creek, in the summer of 1791, 
Two of his neighbors, who were passing down the river in a canoe, on the 
Virginia side of the island, hearing the report of a gun, landed, and passed 
over the island, where they saw two Indians going from the canoe, in which 
Kerr lay, with the struggles of death still upon him. This mui'der of his 
father greatly exasperated Hambleton, and thenceforward no Indian was 
safe who crossed his path, whether in time of war or peace. 

He settled at the mouth of a small stream, now known as Kerr's run, at 
the upper end of the flourishing town of Pomeroy, Ohio. 


The men were gigging by torcUight, and thus became fair 
objects for the aim of the savages. 

In the summer of this year, John Nieswanger and Joseph 
Hefiler, two very efficient spies, started on a hunting expe- 
dition down the Ohio. They were dressed in Indian fashion, 
as was often the custom on such occasions, so as the better to 
elude detection. They descended the river in a canoe, and 
on. the evening of the day they left, put into Little Grave 
creek. A party of Indians had watched their movements, 
and during the night attacked them with fury. Nieswanger 
was killed, but his companion succeeded in getting off, with 
the loss of two fingers. He escaped to Wheeling, and thence 
went to Pittsburgh, to have an operation performed upon his 
maimed hand. Returning, and when near the present resi- 
dence of Hamilton Woods, he was attacked and killed by the 
Indians. While in pursuit of Heffler, at Grave creek, the 
canoe floated off, and thus the savages lost the chance of 
scalping the unfortunate Nieswanger. Some months after- 
wards the canoe was found lodged at the head of Captina 
Island, with the remains of the hunter and his gun still in it. 

1784 was a year of comparative quiet on the frontier. The 
teeaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain 
had the effect to restrain the western Indians for the time 



In the latter part of June, a small party of Indians visited 
the house of Edward Cunningham, an enterprising settler on 
Bingamon, a branch of West Fork. Thomas Cunningham, a 
brother of Edward, lived in a house almost adjoining. The 
two families affording thus protection one to the other. At 
the time spoken of, Edward and his family were in one cabin. 


and the wife of Thomas, with her four children, (her husband 
having gone east on a trading exj^edition) were in the other, 
both families eating their dinners, when in stepped before the 
astonished mother and children, a huge savage, with drawn 
knife and uplifted tomahawk. Conscious of his security with 
the mother and children, but fearing danger from Edward 
Cunningham, who had seen him enter, the savage quickly 
glanced around for some means of escape in an opposite 
direction. Edward watched the movements of the savage 
through an opening in the wall. In the other house was a 
similar hole, (made to introduce light), and through it the 
Indian fired, shouting the yell of victory. It was answered 
by Edward, who had seen the aim of the savage just in time 
to escape, — the bark from the log close to his head was 
knocked off by the Indian's ball, and flew in his face. The 
Indian seeing that he had missed his object, and observing 
an adze in the room, deliberately commenced cutting an 
aperture in the back wall, through which he might pass out, 
without being exposed to a shot from the other building. 

Another of the Indians came into the yard just after the 
firing of his companion, but observing Edward's gun pointing 
through the port hole, endeavored to retreat out of its range. 
Just as he went to spring the fence, a ball struck him, and he 
fell forward. It had, however, only fractured his thigh bone, 
and he was yet able to get over the fence, and take shelter 
behind a quilt suspended on it, before Edward could again load 
his gun. Meantime the Indian in the house was engaged in 
cutting a hole through the wall, during which Mrs. Cunning- 
ham made no attempt to get out, well aware it would only 
draw upon her head the fury of the savage ; and that if she 
escaped this one, she would most probably be killed by some 
of those who were watching outside. She knew, too, it would 
be impossible to take the children with her. She trusted to 
hope that the one inside would withdraw without molesting 
any of them. A few minutes served to convince her of the 
hopeless folly of trusting to an Indian's mercy. When the 


opening had been made sufficiently large, the savage raised 
his tomahawk, sunk it deep into the brains of one of the 
children, and throwing the scarcely lifeless body into the back 
yard, ordered the mother to follow him. There was no 
alternative but death, and she obeyed his order, stepping over 
the dead body of one of her children, with an infant in her 
arms, and two others screaming by her side. When all were 
out he scalped the murdered boy, and setting fire to the house, 
retired to an eminence, where two of the savages were with 
their wounded companion, — leaving the other two to watch 
the opening of Edward Cunningham's door, when the burning 
of the house should force the family from their shelter. They 
were disappointed in their expectation of that event by the 
exertions of Cunningham and his son. When the flame from 
the one house communicated to the roof of the other, they 
ascended to the loft, threw off the loose boards which covered 
it, and extinguished the fire ; — the savages shooting at them 
all the while ; their balls frequently striking close by. 

Unable to force out the family of Edward Cunningham, 
and despairing of doing further injury, they beat a speedy 
retreat. Before leaving, however, the eldest son of Mrs. 
Thomas Cunningham was tomahawked and scalped in presence 
of the shuddering mother. Her little daughter was next 
served in the same way ; but, to make the scene still more 
tragical, the child was dashed against a tree, and its brains 
scattered about. The mother, during the whole of these 
bloody acts, stood motionless in grief, and in momentary awe 
of meeting a similar fate. But, alas, she was reserved for a 
different, and, to a sensitive woman, a far more dreadful fate. 
With her helpless babe she was led from this scene of carnage. 
The savages carried their wounded companion upon a litter. 
Crossing the ridge, they found a cave near Bingamon creek, 
in which they secreted themselves until after night, when 
some of the party returned to Edward Cunningham's, but not 
finding any one at home, fired the house, and made a hasty 
retreat towards their own country. 


Mrs. Cunningham suffered untold mental and physical 
agony during her march to the Indian towns. For ten days 
her only nourishment was the head of a wild turkey and a few 
paw-paws. After a long absence she was returned to her 
husband, through the intercession of Simon Girty, who ran- 
somed her, and sent her home. This one single act should 
redeem his memory from a multitude of sins. 

After the savages had withdrawn, Cunningham went with 
his family into the woods, where they remained all night, there 
being no settlement nearer than ten miles. In the morning the 
alarm was given, and a company of men soon collected to go 
in pursuit of the Indians. When they came to Cunningham's, 
and found both houses heaps of ashes, they buried the bones 
of the boy who was murdered in the house, with the bodies of 
his brother and little sister, who were killed in the field ; but 
so cautiously had the savages conducted their retreat, that no 
traces of them could be discovered, and the men returned to 
their homes. 

Subsequently, a second party started in pursuit, and traced 
them to the cave"; but it was found the enemy had left the 
night previous, and all hope of effecting a successful pursuit 
was given over. After her return from captivity, Mrs. Cun- 
ningham stated, that at the time of the search on the first day, 
the Indians were in the cave, and that several times the whites 
approached so near, that she could distinctly hear their voices ; 
the savages standing with their guns ready to fire, in the 
event of being discovered, and forcing her to keep the infant 
to her breast, lest its cry might indicate their place of con- 


In the spring of this year, the Indians early re-appeared 
in the neighborhood of Wheeling. One of their first acts on 
Wheeling creek, was the captivity of two boys, John Wetzel, 

1785.] THE ENEMY SURPRISED. . 287 

Jr., and Frederick Erlewyne, the former about sixteen years 
of age, and the latter a year or two younger. The boys had 
gone from the fort at Shepherd's, for the purpose of catch- 
ing horses. One of the stray animals was a mare, with a 
young colt, belonging to Wetzel's sister, and she had offered 
the foal to John, says the account which we follow, as a 
reward for finding the mare. While on this service, they 
were captured by a party of four Indians, who, having come 
across the horses, had seized and secured them in a thicket, 
expecting the bells would attract the notice of their owners, 
as they could kill them. The horse was ever a favorite object 
of plunder with the savages ; as not only facilitating his own 
escape from pursuit, but also assisting him in carrying off the 
spoil. The boys, hearing the well-known tinkle of the bells, 
approached the spot where the Indians lay concealed, con- 
gratulating themselves on their good luck in so readily finding 
the strays, when they were immediately seized by the savages. 
John, in attempting to escape, was shot through the wrist. 
His companion hesitating to go with the Indians, and begin- 
ning to cry, they dispatched him with the tomahawk. John, 
who had once before been taken prisoner and escaped, made 
light of it, and went along cheerfully with his wounded arm. 
The party struck the Ohio river early the following morn- 
ing, at a point near the mouth of Grave creek, and just below 
the clearing of Mr. Tomlinson."' Here they found some hogs, 
and killing one of them, put it into a canoe they had stolen. 
Three of the Indians took possession of the canoe with 
their prisoner, while the other was busied in swimming the 
horses across the river. It so happened that Isaac Wil- 
liams,^ Hambleton Kerr, and Jacob, a Dutchman, had come 
down that morning from Wheeling, to look after the cattle, 
etc., left at the deserted settlement. When near the mouth 

' Mr. Tomlinson and family were at that time in the fort at Wheeling. 
2 Isaac Williams was the son-in-law of j\Ir. Tomlinson, and afterwards 
settled opposite Marietta. 


of Little Grave creek, a mile above, they heard the report of 
a rifle. "Dod rot 'em," exclaimed Mr. Williams, "a Ken- 
tuck' boat has landed at the creek, and they are shooting my 
hogs." Quickening their pace, in a few minutes they were 
within a short distance of the creek, when they heard the loud 
snort of a horse. Kerr being in the prime of life, and younger 
than Mr. Williams, was several rods ahead, and reached the 
bank first. As he looked into the creek, he saw three Indians 
standing in a canoe ; one was in the stern, one in the bow, 
and the other in the middle. At the feet of the latter, lay 
four rifles and a dead hog; while a fourth Indian was swim- 
ming a horse, a few rods from shore. The one in the stern 
had his paddle in the edge of the water in the act of turning 
and shoving the canoe from the mouth of the creek into the 
river. Before they were aware of his presence, Kerr drew up 
and shot the Indian in the stern, who instantly fell into the 
water. The crack of his rifle had scarcely ceased, when Mr. 
Williams came up and shot the one in the bow, who also fell 
overboard. Kerr dropped his own rifle, and seizing that of 
the Dutchman, shot the remaining Indian. He fell over into 
the water, but still held on to the side of the canoe with one 
hand. So amazed was the last Indian at the fall of his com- 
panions, that he never ofi"ered to lift one of the rifles which 
lay at his feet in self-defence, but acted like one bereft of his 
senses. By this time the canoe, impelled by the impetus 
given to it by the first Indian, had reached the current of the 
river, and was some rods below the mouth of the creek. Kerr 
instantly reloaded his gun, and seeing another man lying in 
the bottom of the canoe, raised it to his face as in the act of 
firing, when he cried out, "Don't shoot, I am a white man !" 
Kerr told him to knock loose the Indian's hand from the side 
of the canoe, and paddle to the shore. In reply he said his 
arm was broken and he could not. The current, however, 
set it near some rocks not far from land, on which he jumped 
and waded out. Kerr now aimed his rifle at the Indian on horse- 
back, who by this time had reached the middle of the river. 

1785.] MURDER OF DOOLIN. 289 

The shot struck near him, splashing the water on his naked 
skin. The Indian seeing the fate of his companions, with the 
utmost bravery, slipped from the horse, and swam for the 
canoe, in which were the rifles of the four warriors. This 
was an act of necessity, as well of daring, for he well knew 
he could not reach home without the means of killing game. 
He soon gained possession of the canoe, unmolested, crossed 
with the arms to his own side of the Ohio, mounted the cap- 
tive horse, which had swam to the Indian shore, and with a 
yell of defiance escaped into the woods. The canoe was 
turned adrift to spite his enemies, and was taken up near 
Maysville with the dead hog still in it, the cause of all their 


Edward Doolin was one of the earliest settlers near the 
mouth of Fishing creek. He improved the farm now partly 
owned by Samuel McEldowney, about one mile above New 
Martinsville, Virginia.^ Most of the settlers on Fishing creek 
had, on the opening of spring, moved into Tomlinson's fort ; 
but Doolin, not apprehending danger, refused to go. The 
circumstances of this murder are thus given by General But- 
ler, who was one of the Commissioners appointed to hold 
treaties with the northern and western Indians. His Jour- 
nal, from which we extract, was kept during his visit to the 
Miami, in 1785 : 

" I saw one Irvine, who had come from Cumberland river 
in a boat ; he arrived at Fort Mcintosh just the evening be- 
fore I set out. He says he met General Clark below Sciota 
a small distance, the 13th inst., on his way to the falls of the 
Ohio. He says he met with the wife of one Doolin, whose 
husband and two children were murdered by the Indians on 
Fish creek, on the 20fch instant. Their conduct was very 

' The place is still discernible where this cabin stood, also the spring near 
at hand, which is still called Doolin's spring. 



extraordinary. They came to the door and knocked, very 
early in the morning ; the man rose out of bed and was shot 
through the door, which broke his thigh; on his falling, the 
door was broke in by the Indians, who tomahawked him and 
two children ; the woman in fright lay still. They told her 
not to be uneasy, that they would not hurt her or the child 
she had in her arms, and desired she would not leave the 
house, as they would soon be back again, but did not intend 
to injure her; that they were Cherokees, and would never 
make peace. She asked why they troubled her, that the 
Indians had made peace with General Clark last fall ; they 
said, not they; that if they could meet General Clark they 
would kill him also. He says he does not think the Indians 
mean to do any mischief generally, that it is a few banditti, 
who are a collection of Cherokees, Shawanese, etc." 

Mrs. Doolin afterwards married Edmund Martin, and 
moved with her husband to Kentucky. 


Mr. Scott, a citizen of Washington county, Virginia, had 
his house attacked on Wednesday night, June 29th, 1785, 
and himself, with four children, butchered upon the spot. 

Early in the evening, a considerable body of Indians passed 
his house and encamped within a couple of miles. Himself 
and family had retired, with the exception of Mrs. Scott, 
who was in the act of undressing, when the painted savages 
rushed in, and commenced the work of death. " Mr. Scott, 
being awake, jumped up, but was immediately fired at : he 
forced his way through the midst of the enemy and got out 
of the door, but fell. An Indian seized Mrs. Scott, and 
ordered her to a particular spot, and not to move: others 
stabbed and cut the throats of the three younger children 
in their bed, and afterwards lifting them up, dashed them 
upon the floor, near the mother ; the eldest, a beautiful 

1785.] ESCAPE OF MRS. SCOTT. 291 

girl of eight years old, awoke, escaped out of the bed, ran to 
her parent, and, with the most plaintive accents, cried, ' 
mamma ! mamma ! save me !' The mother, in the deepest 
anguish of spirit, and with a flood of tears, entreated the 
savages to spare her child ; but with a brutal fierceness, they 
tomahawked and stabbed her in the mother's arms. Adjacent 
to Mr. Scott's dwelling house another family lived, of the 
name of Ball. The Indians attacked them at the same time ; 
but the door being shut, the enemy fired into the house 
through an opening between two logs, and killed a young 
lad ; they then tried to force the door, but a surviving brother 
fired through and drove them off; the remaining part of the 
family ran out of the house and escaped. In Mr. Scott's 
house were four good rifles, well loaded, and a good deal of 
clothing and furniture, part of which belonged to people 
that had left it on their way to Kentucky. The Indians, 
being thirteen in number, loaded themselves with the plunder, 
then speedily made off, and continued travelling all night. 
Next morning their chief allotted to each man his share ; and 
detached nine of the party to steal horses from the inhabi- 
tants on Clinch river. The eleventh day after Mrs. Scott's 
captivity, the four Indians who had her in charge, stopped at 
a place of rendezvous to hunt. Three went out, and the 
chief, being an old man, was left to take care of the prisoner, 
who, by this time, expressed a willingness to proceed to the 
Indian towns, which seemed to have the desired effect of 
lessening her keeper's vigilance. In the day time, as the old 
man was graning a deer skin, the captive, pondering on her 
situation, and anxiously looking for an opportunity to make 
her escape, took the resolution, and went to the Indian care- 
lessly, asked liberty to go a small distance to a stream of 
water, to wash the blood off her apron, that had remained 
besmeared since the fatal night of the murder of her little 
daughter. He told her, in the English tongue ' Go along !' 
she then passed by him, his face being in a contrary direction 
from that she was going, and he very busy. After getting to 


the water, she went on without delay towards a high, barren 
mountain, and travelled until late in the evening, when she 
came down into the valley, in search of the track she had 
been taken along ; hoping thereby to find the way back, 
without the risk of being lost, and perishing with hunger in 
uninhabited parts.* 

" That night she made herself a bed with leaves, and the 
next day resumed her wanderings. Thus did that poor wo- 
man continue from day to day, and week to week, wandering 
in the trackless wilderness. Finally, on the 11th of August, 
she reached a settlement on Clinch river, known as New 

" Mrs. Scott related, that during her wandering from the 
tenth of July to the eleventh of August, she had no other 
subsistence but chewing and swallo"wing the juice of young 
cane, sassafras, and some plants she did not know the names 
of; that, on her journey, she saw buffaloes, elk, deer, and 
frequently bears and wolVes, not one of which, although some 
passed very near, offered to do her the least harm. One 
day a bear came near her, with a young fawn in his mouth, 
and, on discovering her, he dropped his prey and ran off. 
Hunger prompted her to try and eat the flesh ; but, on re- 
flection, she desisted, thinking that the bear might return 
and devour her : besides, she had an aversion to raw meat, 

" Mrs. Scott long continued in a low state of health, and 
remained inconsolable at the loss of her family, particularly 
bewailing the cruel death of her little daughter." 


Next to the Tush murder, perhaps the most melancholy 
occurrence on WheeliDg creek, was that of two sisters — the 
Misses Crow. The parents of these girls lived about one mile 
above the mouth of Dunkard, or lower fork of the creek. 


According to the statement of a third sister/ who was an eye- 
witness to the horrid tragedy, and herself almost a victim, 
the three left their parents' house for an evening walk along 
the deeply shaded banks of that beautiful stream. Their walk 
extended over a mile, and they were just turning back, when 
suddenly, several Indians sprung from behind a ledge of rock, 
and seized all three of the sisters. With scarcely a moment's 
interruption, the savages led the captives a short distance up 
a small bank, when a halt was called, and a parley took place. 
It seems that some of the Indians were in favor of immediate 
slaughter, while others were disposed to carry them into 
permanent captivity. Unfortunately, the arm of mercy was 
powerless. Without a moment's warning, a fierce-looking 
savage stepped from the group with elevated tomahawk, and 
commenced the work of death. This Indian, in the language 
of the surviving sister, " Began to tomahawk one of my 
sisters— Susan by name. Susan dodged her head to one 
side, the tomahawk taking effect in her neck, cutting the 
large neck vein, [jugular] the blood gushing out a yard's 
length. The Indian who had her by the hand, jumped back 
to avoid the blood. The other Indian then began the work 
of death on my sister Mary. I gave a sudden jerk and got 
loose from the one that held me, and ran with all speed, and 
took up a steep bank, gained the top safe — (but just as I 
caught hold of a bush to help myself up, the Indian fired, and 
the ball passed through the clump of hair on my head, slightly 
breaking the skin ;) the Indian taking round, in order to meet 
me as 1 would strike the path that led homeward. But I ran 
right from home, and hid myself in the bushes, near the top 
of the hill. Presently I saw an Indian passing along tiie 
hill below me ; I lay still until he was out of sight ; I then 
made for home."^ 

^ Christina, now Mrs. John McBride, of Carlisle, Monroe Co., Ohio. 
2 MSS. letter of Colonel Bonnett, who visited this lady in the fall of '46. 



In the autumn of this year, James Snodgrass and John 
Ice were killed while looking for their horses, which had 
strayed from their owners when on a buffalo hunt on Fishing 

A few days subsequent to this occurrence, a party of Indians 
came to Buffalo creek, and meeting Mrs. Dragoo and her son 
in a field gathering beans, took them prisoners, and supposing 
that their detention would induce others to look for them, 
waylaid the path leading from the house. "According to 
expectation, uneasy at their continued absence, Jacob Strait 
and Nicholas Wood went to ascertain the cause. As they 
approached, the Indians fired, and Wood fell. Strait taking 
to flight, was soon overtaken. Mrs. Strait and her daughter, 
hearing the firing and seeing the savages in pursuit of Mr. 
Strait, betook themselves also to flight, but were discovered 
by some of the Indians, who immediately ran after them. 
The daughter concealed herself in a thicket and escaped. 
Her mother sought concealment under a large shelving rock, 
and was not afterwards discovered, although those in pursuit 
of her husband, passed near and overtook him not far off. 
Indeed she was at that time so close as to hear Mr. Strait 
say, when overtaken, ' Don't kill me, and I will go with you ;' 
and the savage replying, ' Will you go with me ?' she heard 
the fatal blow which deprived her husband of life. 

" Mrs. Dragoo being infirm and unable to travel to their 
towns, was murdered on the way. Her son (a lad of seven) 
remained with the Indians upwards of twenty years, — he 
married a squaw, by whom he had four children, two of whom 
he brought home with him, when he forsook the Indians." 

1787.] BLOODY SCENE. 295 



Clark's block-house^ was, in July of this year, the scene 
of a painful occurrence. Of those who had resorted there, 
was a family by the name of Bevans, embracing six members 
in all, two sons and two daughters. Not apprehending dan- 
ger, these four visited, on the occasion referred to, their farm, 
which was within a mile of the fort, for the purpose of pulling 
flax. Reaching the field, they all seated themselves upon the 
fence and were looking at the flax, when the Indians fired 
upon them. John, one of the sons, received a ball through his 
body, but not so as to disable him from running for the block- 
house. An Indian followed close in pursuit, but the unfor- 
tunate young man kept ahead until within sight of the block- 
house, when he sunk down dead. The Indian had just given 
up the chase, as he saw him fall. Cornelius, the other brother, 
ran a difi"erent direction, with an Indian after him, tomahawk 
in hand. The little fellow ran down a steep hill, leaping over 
a large prostrate tree, in the top of which he hid himself. The 
two girls were tomahawked and scalped, and both found lying 
together. They were buried on the spot and in the same grave. 

Clark told Rodefer that he saw John Bevans fall over the 
fence a short distance below the fort. One of the daughters 
was married, and an additional account says, that her hus- 
band, James Anderson, was with her and was killed. 

1 This structure occupied a commanding position on the farm now owned 
by John Allen, Esq., near Pleasant Hill church, Marshall county, Va. Mr. 
Kodefer, from whom we have derived many interesting facts, says he was 
frequently at the block-house referred to, and was intimately acquainted 
with Harry Clark, the founder. He describes this rude frontier post, as 
composed of four cabins, placed close together, and defended by a row of 
pickets ten feet in height. 



The women of the west were Spartans in every sense of 
the word. They possessed in a remarkable degree a union of 
strength, courage, love, devotion, simplicity and shrewdness 
which well fitted them for the severe and often terrible trials 
through which they had to pass. These noble qualities, called 
forth, perhaps, by the circumstances with which they were 
surrounded, distinguished the women of the heroic age of the 
west. Disregarding danger, and alone devoted to the safety of 
her little household, the western mother nerved her arm and 
steeled her heart to the severe duties which surrounded her. 

A young girl braves the danger of an Indian army, and 
rushes forth from a place of safety to procure the means of 
defending those whom she loves more tenderly than life. 
Another bares her breast to the knife of the savage rather 
than disclose the hiding place of her friends ; while yet another 
throws herself upon the person of her father, to receive the 
impending blow of the uplifted tomahawk. 

Again, the fond wife, who has seen her husband shot dead 
by a rifle levelled over her own shoulders, watches over his 
blood-stained corpse, in her desolate home, surrounded by 
fierce savages, rather than attempt to escape and leave his 
precious remains subject to farther outrage. Such were the 
women of the west — the hero-mothers of the Revolution. 

The case of our Virginia matron, which should have been 
noticed in its appropriate chronological order, will now be given. 

On Dunkard creek, now within the limits of Monongalia 
county, lived a Mr. Bozarth, his wife, and three children. 

The alarm which had caused the settlers to resort to Prick- 
ett's fort, (elsewhere noticed), induced two or three families 
living convenient to Mr. Bozarth, to collect at his house. 

1779.] PROWESS OF A WOMAN. 297 

About the 1st of April, (1789), when but two men were in the 
house, with Mrs. Bozarth, the children, who had been out 
playing, ran suddenly in, crying that "Indians were coming!" 

In order to ascertain the true cause of this alarm, one of 
the men stepped to the door and was struck upon the breast 
with a rifle ball, which knocked him back into the house. A 
savage sprung in after him and attacked the other -white man 
with all the fury of his nature. The man being unarmed, 
called for a knife, but Mrs. Bozarth not seeing one at the 
instant, picked up an axe, and killed the savage on the spot. 
While the courageous woman was thus engaged, a second 
Indian presented himself at the door, and firing, killed the 
man who had been struggling with his companion. Quick as 
thought, the intrepid matron turned upon this new comer, and 
at one blow ripped open his abdomen, causing the savage to 
yell most lustily for help. Immediately, several of his com- 
panions rushed to the rescue, but the invincible woman was 
ready for them. The first who attempted to enter was struck 
upon the head, and his skull cleft, making the third victim to 
the axe of this Virginia Amazon. The others having drawn 
out the wounded savage, and learning the strength of the 
house, attempted to force the door, but Mrs. Bozarth had so 
securely fastened it, as to defy all their efforts. The savages 
then killed the children in the yard and made off. 

In connection with this, and as illustrative of our subject, 
we will give one more case, which, although not occurring 
within the present limits of our state, was, at the time the 
transaction took place, strictly a part of Virginia. 

" During the summer of this year, the house of Mr. John 
Merrill, of Nelson county, Ky., was attacked by Indians, 
and defended with singular address and good fortune. Merril 
was alarmed by the barking of a dog about midnight, and 
upon opening the door in order to ascertain the cause of the 
disturbance, received the fire of six or seven Indians, by 
which his arm and thigh were both broken. He instantly 
sunk upon the floor and called upon his wife to close the door. 


This had scarcely been done, when it was violently assailed 
by the tomahawks of the enemy, and a large breach soon 
effected. Mrs. Merrill, being a large woman, possessing both 
strength and courage, guarded the door with an axe, and 
successively killed or badly wounded four of the enemy as 
they attempted to force their way into the cabin. 

" The Indians then ascended the roof and attempted to enter 
by way of the chimney, but here again they were met by the 
same determined enemy. Mrs. Merrill seized the only feather 
bed which the cabin afforded, and hastily ripping it open, 
poured its contents upon the fire. A furious blaze and stifling 
smoke instantly ascended the chimney, and brought down two 
of the enemy, who in a few moments were at the mercy of the 
woman. Seizing the axe, she quickly dispatched them, and 
was instantly afterwards summoned to the door, where the 
only remaining savage now appeared, endeavoring to effect an 
entrance, while Mrs. Merrill was engaged at the chimney. He 
soon received a gash on the cheek, which compelled him, with 
a loud yell, to relinquish his purpose, and return hastily to 
Chillicothe, where, from the report of a prisoner, he gave an 
exaggerated account of the fierceness, strength, and courage 
of the "Long-knife squaw!'" 


Of those who settled on Little Wheeling, after the cessa- 
tion of hostilities in 1783, was a family named Becham. They 
lived near what is now Jknown as the Scotch ridge. In 
October, 1787,^ two of the sons of Mr. Becham left home to 
hunt their horses, and look for bee trees. They had not gone 
far before a small party of Indians fell upon them, and took 

' To show the great difficulty we have had in establishing dates, this single 
case comes to us, sustained by the strongest living evidence, that it occurred 
in years widely apart. One party contends that it took place in 1790 ; 
another, in 1793, and again in 1787. We have adopted that of Mr. Darby, 
corroborated by Col. Bonnett. (See Darby's letter, A. end of present chapter.) 


them prisoners. The Indians had caught one of the horses 
and tied him to a tree, and when the boys approached they 
were made captives without any resistance. The Indians 
then caught another horse, and placing a boy each before 
them, rode off. They made for the Ohio at Grave creek. 
That night they encamped about four miles from the river, 
and after securing their prisoners, fell asleep. During the 
night, something caused them to believe they were pursued ; 
and without a moment's hesitation tomahawked and scalped 
the unfortunate prisoners, and then made off as speedily as 
possible. Happily, in the hurry and confusion of the mo- 
ment, they did not do up the work of death in an effective 
manner, as neither boy was killed, and the eldest but slightly 
injured, saving the loss of his scalp. Thomas sat by the side 
of his brother for some time, but finding his head bleeding 
freely, took from the Indian's plunder a check apron, ^ and 
tied it around his head. Deeming it imprudent to remain 
there, Thomas took some of the plunder, among which were 
a few pewter spoons, and mounting one of the horses, 
rode off for help. He travelled about three miles down 
Grave creek, where he left the horse, and proceeded on foot 
to the Flats. He went directly to the house of Mr. Masters, 

' This apron has been productive of much mischief, by confounding facts, 
and dates, and thus confusing the historian. Mrs. Cruger is positive that it 
belonged to Mrs. Tush, who was not killed until '93. Colonel Bonnett, on the 
other hand, is confident that this affair took place in '87 ; and is of the opinion 
that the apron may have belonged to Mary Bevans, whose death, with that of 
her sister and brother, we have just recorded. Hear what he says. We deem it 
necessary to give this extract, as other writers, who have been misled as to 
facts, may attempt to fix the date at a later period. 

Colonel B., after speaking of the murder of the Bevans, at Clark's block- 
house, adds: — 

" Soon after, or early in August, 1787, the Becham boys met their fate. 
The check apron alluded to in your letter, belonged to Mary Bevans, or perhaps 
it might have belonged to Mary Crow, a young woman killed along with her 
sister, about the same time. Be this as it may, one tiling is certain, the 
check apron belonged to one of the girls alluded to, and therefore could not 
have been so late as the murder of George Tush's family." (MSS. letter of 
Colonel Lewis Bonnett.) 

300 YOUNa HEROES : [Chap. II. 

father of Dr. Z. Masters, living at that time on the farm now 
owned by Mr. Lewis D. Purdj, where his wound was dressed, 
and himself taken care of. A party went out on the morning 
to look for the other boy, but the savages had been back and 
made fatal work. It was supposed they had waited at 
some convenient point of observation until daylight, and dis- 
covering no pursuing party, returned to camp and dispatched 
the poor boy who had still survived. Thomas lived to a good 
old age, and for many years resided in Belmont county, Ohio. 
The Indians engaged in this expedition returned to the 
neighborhood of West Alexandria, and killed a Scotch woman, 
also a man named Ageo. They then escaped to the Ohio, 
and crossed near Yellow creek. Ageo was killed in going to 
the fort, after the murder of the woman referred to. He was 
shot from his horse. 



All who have read anything of western history, will 
remember the thrilling feat of the two Johnson boys. As 
many very contradictory accounts have been given of that 
occurrence, which so links their name with the heroic age of 
the west, we were anxious to procure the full facts, and for 
this purpose consulted the surviving brother, now a hale old 
man of seventy-four, living in Monroe county, Ohio. In 
answer to our inquiry, he has written out a detailed state- 
ment of the whole transaction, which it aflfords us sincere 
pleasure to herewith submit: 

Antioch, Monroe County, Ohio? 

January 18th, 1851. 

Dear Sir: — Yours of the 8th instant has just come to 

hand, and I with pleasure sit down to answer your request, 

which is a statement of my adventure with the Indians. I 

1788.] THE JOHNSON BOYS. 301 

will give the narrative as found in m/ sketch book. I was 
born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, February 4th, 
1777. When about eight years old, my father, James John- 
son, having a large family to provide for, sold his farm, with 
the expectation of acquiring larger possessions further west. 
Thus he was stimulated to encounter the perils of a pioneer 
life. He crossed the Ohio river, and bought some improve- 
ments on what was called Beach Bottom Flats, two and a 
half miles from the river, and three or four miles above the 
mouth of Short creek, with the expectation of holding by 
improvement right under the Virginia claim. Soon after we 
reached there, the Indians became troublesome; they stole 
horses, and killed a number of persons in our neighborhood. 
When I was between eleven and twelve years old, in the 
month of October, 1788, I was taken prisoner by the Indians, 
with my brother John, who was about eighteen months older 
than I. The circumstances were as follows: — On Saturday 
evening, we were out with an older brother, and came home 
late in the evening. The next morning one of us had lost a 
hat, and about the middle of the day, we thought that per- 
haps we had left it where we had been at work, about three- 
fourths of a mile from the house. We went to the place and 
found the hat, and sat down on a log by the road-side, and 
commenced cracking nuts. In a short time we saw two men 
coming toward us from the house. By their dress, we sup- 
posed they were two of our neighbors, James Perdue and 
J. Russell. We paid but little attention to them, until they 
came quite near us, when we saw our mistake: they were 
black. To escape by flight was impossible, had we been dis- 
posed to try. We sat still until they came up. One of 
them said, "How do, brodder ?" My brother asked them if 
they were Indians, and they answered in the affirmative, and 
said we must go with them. One of them had a blue buck- 
skin pouch, which we gave my brother to carry, and with- 
out further ceremony, he took up the line of march for the 
wilderness, not knowing whether we should ever return to 


our cheerful home; and not having much love for our com- 
manding officers, of course we obeyed orders rather tardily. 
The mode of march was thus — one of the Indians walked 
about ten steps before, the other about ten behind us. After 
travelling some distance, we halted in a deep hollow and sat 
down. They took out their knives and whet them, and talked 
some time in the Indian tongue, which we could not under- 
stand. My brother and me sat eight or ten steps from them, 
and talked about killing them that night, and make our 
escape. I thought, from their looks and actions, that they 
were going to kill us; and, strange to say, I felt no alarm. 
I thought I would rather die than go with them. The most 
of my trouble was, that my father and mother would be fret- 
ting after us — not knowing what had become of us. I ex- 
pressed my thoughts to John, Avho went and began to talk 
with them. He said that father was cross to him, and made 
him work hard, and that he did not like hard work; that he 
would rather be a hunter, and live in the woods. This seemed 
to please them ; for they put up their knives, and talked more 
lively and pleasantly. We became very familiar, and many 
questions passed between us; all parties were very inquisi- 
tive. They asked my brother which way home was, several 
times, and he would tell them the contrary way every time, 
although he knew the way very well. This would make them 
lauo-h ; they thought we were lost, and that we knew no bet- 
ter. They conducted us over the Short creek hills in search 
of horses, but found none; so we continued on foot until 
nio-ht, when we halted in a hollow, about three miles from 
Carpenter's fort, and about four from the place where they 
first took us ; our route being somewhat circuitous, we made 
but slow progress. As night began to close in, I became 
fretful. My brother encouraged me, by whispering that 
we would kill them that night. After they had selected 
the place of our encampment, one of them scouted round, 
whilst the other struck fire, which was done by stopping the 
touch -hole of his gun, and flashing powder in the pan. After 


the Indian got the fire kindled, he re-primed the gun and 
went to an old stump, to get some tinder wood, and while he 
was thus employed, my brother John took the gun, cocked it, 
and was about to shoot the Indian : alarmed lest the other 
might be close by, I remonstrated, and taking hold of the 
gun, prevented him shooting ; at the same time I begged him 
to wait till night, and I would help him kill them both. 
The other Indian came back about dark, when we took our 
supper, such as it was, — some corn parched on the coals, and 
some roasted pork. We then sat and talked for some time. 
They seemed to be acquainted with the whole border settle- 
ment, from Marietta to Beaver, and could number every 
fort and block-house, and asked my brother how many fight- 
ing men there were in each place, and how many guns. In 
some places, my brother said, there were a good many more 
guns than there were fighting men. They asked what use 
were these guns. He said the women could load while the 
men fired. But how did these guns get there ? My brother 
said, when the war was over with Great Britain, the soldiers 
that were enlisted during the war were discharged, and they 
left a great many of their guns at the stations. They asked 
my brother who owned that black horse that wore a bell ? He 
answered, father. They then said the Indians could never 
catch that horse. We then went to bed on the naked ground, 
to rest and study out the best mode of attack. They put us 
between them, that they might be the better able to guard us. 
After awhile, one of the Indians, supposing we were asleep, 
got up and stretched himself on the other side of the fire, and 
soon began to snore. John, who had been watching every 
motion, found they were sound asleep. He whispered to me 
to get up, which we did as carefully as possible. John took 
the gun with which the Indian had struck fire, cocked it, and 
placed it in the direction of the head of one of the Indians. 
He then took a tomahawk, and drew it over the head of the 
other Indian. I pulled the trigger, and he struck at the same 
instant; the blow falling too far back on the neck, only 


stunned the Indian. He attempted to spring to his feet, 
uttering most hideous yells, but mj brother repeated the 
blows with such effect that the conflict became terrible, and 
somewhat doubtful. The Indian, however, was forced to 
yield to the blows he received on his head, and in a short 
time he lay quiet at our feet. The. one that was shot never 
moved; and fearing there were others close by, we hurried 
off, and took nothing with us but the gun I shot with. They 
had told us we would see Indians about to-morrow, so we 
thought that there was a camp of Indians close by ; and fearing 
the report of the gun, the Indian hallooing, and I calling 
to John^ might bring them upon us, we took our course 
towards the river, and on going about three-fourths of a mile, 
came to a path which led to Carpenter's fort. My brother 
here hung up his hat, that he might know where to take 
off to find the camp. We got to the fort a little before day- 
break. We related our adventure, and the next day a small 
party went out with my brother, and found the Indian that 
was tomahawked, on the ground; the other had crawled off, 
and was not found till some time after. He was shot through 
close by the ear. Having concluded this narrative, I will give 
a description of the two Indians. They were of the Delaware 
tribe, and one of them a chief. He wore the badges of his 
office — the wampum belt, three half-moons, and a silver plate 
on his breast ; bands of silver on both arms, and his ears cut 
round and ornamented with silver ; the hair on the top of his 
head was done up with silver wire. The other Indian seemed 
to be a kind of waiter. He was rather under size, a plain 
man. He wore a fine beaver hat, with a hole shot through 
the crown. My brother asked him about the hat. He said 
he killed a captain and got his hat. My brother asked him 
if he had killed many of the whites, and he answered, a good 
many. He then asked him if the big Indian had killed many 
of the whites, and he answered, a great many, and that he 
was a great captain — a chief. * * :r * * 

[Signed] Henry Johnson. 

1789.] COURAGEOUS BOY. 305 

In connection with the above, and to still further show of 
what material the hoys were made, in the great heroic age of 
the west, we give the following, which we find in a recent 
communication from Major Nye, of Ohio. The scene of 
adventure was within the present limits of Wood county, 

" I have heard from Mr. Guthrie, and others, that at Bellville 
a man had a son, quite a youth, say twelve or fourteen years 
of age, who had been used to firing his father's gun, as most 
boys did in those days. He heard, he supposed, turkeys on 
or near the bank of the Ohio, opposite that place, and asked 
his father to let him take the gun, and kill one. His father, 
knowing that the Indians frequently decoyed people by such 
noises, refused, saying it was probably an Indian. When he 
had gone to work, the boy took the gun and paddled his 
canoe over the river, but had the precaution to land some 
distance from where he had heard the turkey all the morning, 
probably for fear of scaring the game, and perhaps a little 
afraid of Indians. The banks were steep, and the boy cau- 
tiously advanced to where he could see without being seen. 
Watching awhile for his game, he happened to see an Indian 
cautiously looking over a log, to notice where the boy had 
landed. The lad fixed his gun at a rest, watching the 
place where he had seen the Indian's head, and when it 
appeared again, fired, and the Indian disappeared. The boy 
dropped the gun and ran for his canoe, which he paddled over 
the river as soon as possible. When he reached home, he 
said, 'Mother, I killed an Indian!' and the mother replied, 
'No, you have not.' 'Yes, I have,' said the boy. The 
father coming in, he made the same report to him, and received 
the same reply ; but he constantly affirmed it was even so ; 
and, as the gun was left, a party took the boy over the river 
to find it, and show the place where he shot the Indian, 
and behold, his words were found verified. The ball had 
entered the head, where the boy had affiirmed he shot, between 
the eye and ear." 



Such "boys" made tlie men of the Republic in after 
years — men whom neither tyranny nor oppression could 


Early on the morning of the 27th of March, two Indians 
appeared on the premises of Mr. Glass, residing a few miles 
back of the present town of Wellsburgh. At the time, Mrs. Gr. 
was alone in her house, with the exception of an infant and a 
small black girl. Mrs. Glass was spinning, and had sent her 
negro woman'to the Avoods for sugar water. In a few moments 
she returned, screaming at the top of her voice, " Indians ! 
Indians !" Mrs. Glass jumped up, and running, first to the 
window, then to the door, attempted to escape. But an Indian 
met her, and presented his gun ; Mrs. Glass caught hold of 
the muzzle, turned it aside, and begged him not to kill her. 
The other Indian, in the meantime, caught the negro woman, 
and brought her into the house. They then opened a chest 
and took out a small box and some articles of clothing, and 
without doing any further damage, departed with their 
prisoners. After proceeding about a mile and a half, they 
halted, and held a consultation, as she supposed, to kill the 
children. This she understood to be the subject by their 
gestures. To one of the Indians, who could speak English, 
she held out her little boy, and begged not to kill him, as 
he would make a fine chief after awhile. The Indian made a 
motion for her to walk on with her child. The other Indian 
then struck the negro child with the pipe end of his toma- 
hawk, which knocked it down, and then, by a blow with the 
edge, across the back of the neck, dispatched it. 

"About four o'clock in the evening they reached the river, 
a mile above the creek, and carried a canoe, which had been 
thrown up in some drift wood, into the river. They got into 
this canoe, and worked it down to the mouth of Rush run, r. 


distance of about five miles. They pulled the canoe into the 
mouth of the stream, as far as they could ; going up the run 
about a mile, encamped for the night. The Indians gave the 
prisoners all their own clothes for covering, and one of them 
added his own blanket. Shortly before daylight the Indians 
got up, and put another blanket over them. The black 
woman complained much on account of the loss of her child, 
and they threatened, if she did not desist, to kill her. 

"About sunrise they commenced their march, up a very steep 
hill, and at two o'clock halted on Short creek, about twenty 
miles from the place whence they set out in the morning. 
The spot had been an encampment shortly before, as well as a 
place of deposite for the plunder, which they had recently taken 
from the house of a Mr.Vanmeter, whose family had been killed. 
The plunder was deposited in a sycamore tree. They had 
tapped some sugar trees when there before, and now kindled 
a fire, and put on a brass kettle, with a turkey, which they had 
killed on the way, to boil in sugar water. 

" Mr. Glass was working, with a hired man in a field, about 
a quarter of a mile from the house, when his wife and family 
were taken, but knew nothing of the event until noon. After 
searching about the place, and going to several houses in quest 
of his family, he went to Wells' fort, collected ten men, and 
that night lodged in a cabin, on the bottom on which the town 
of Wellsburg now stands. 

"Next morning they discovered the place where the Indians 
had taken the canoe from the drift, and their tracks at the 
place of embarkation. Mr. Glass could distinguish the 
track of his wife by the print of the high heel of her shoe. 
They crossed over the river, and went down on the other 
side, until they came near the mouth of Rush run ; but dis- 
covering no tracks of the Indians, most of the men concluded 
that they would go to the mouth of the Muskingum, by water, 
and therefore wished to turn back. Mr. Glass begged of them 
to go as far as the mouth of Short creek, which was only two 
or three miles. To this they agreed. When they got to the 


mouth of Rush run, they found the canoe of the Indians. 
This was identified by a proof, which goes to show the presence 
of mind of Mrs. Glass. AVhile passing down the river, one of 
the Indians threw into the water several papers, which he 
had taken out of Mr. Glass' trunk; some of these she care- 
lessly picked up, and under pretence of giving them to the 
child, dropped them into the bottom of the canoe. These left 
no doubt. The trail of the Indians, and their prisoners, up 
the run to their camp, and then up the river hill, was soon 

" About an hour after the Indians had halted, Mr. Glass and 
his men came within sight of their camp. The object then 
was to save the lives of the prisoners, by attacking the Indians 
so unexpectedly, as not to allow time to kill them. With this 
view, they crept along until they got within one hundred 
yards of the camp. Fortunately, Mrs. Glass' little son had 
gone to a sugar-tree, but not being able to get the water, his 
mother had stepped out to get it for him. The negro woman 
was sitting some distance from the two Indians, who were 
looking attentively at a scarlet jacket, which they had taken 
some time before. On a sudden they dropped the jacket, and 
turned their eyes towards the men, who, supposing they were 
discovered, immediately discharged several guns, and rushed 
upon them, at full speed, with an Indian yell. One of the 
Indians, it was supposed, was wounded the first fire, as he 
fell and dropped his gun and shot pouch. After running 
about one hundred yards, a second shot was fired after him, 
by Maj. M'Guire, which brought him to his hands and knees ; 
but there was no time for pursuit, as the Indians had informed 
Mrs. Glass that there was another encampment close by. 
They therefore returned with all speed, and reached Beech 
Bottom fort that night. 

" The other Indian, at the first fire, ran a short distance 
beyond Mrs. Glass, so that she was in a right line between 
him and the white men ; here he halted for a moment, to put 

1789.] Neil's block-house. 309 

on his shot pouch, which Mr. Glass mistook for an attempt to 
kill his wife with a tomahawk." 

This artful manoeuvre, no doubt, saved the life of the savage, 
as his pursuers could not shoot at him, without risking the 
life of the woman. 

The above we have slightly altered from the account already 
published, and think it is entirely correct as now given. Mrs. 
Glass subsequently married a Mr. Brown, and was long a 
resident of Brooke county. 

The Monongahela settlements suffered somewhat severely 
from savage visitation during most of this year. The toma- 
hawk and scalping knife found their victims in almost every 

" In August, five Indians on their way to the Monongahela, 
met with two men on Middle Island creek, and killed them. 
Taking their horses, they continued on until they came to the 
house of William Johnson, on Ten-mile, and made prisoners 
of Mrs. Johnson and some children, plundered the house, 
killed part of the stock, and taking with them one of John- 
son's horses, returned towards the Ohio. When the Indians 
came to the house, Johnson had gone to a lick not far off, 
and on his return in the morning, seeing what had been done, 
and searching until he found the trail of the savages and 
their prisoners, ran to Clarksburg for assistance. A company 
of men repaired with him to where he had discovered the 
trail, and keeping it about a mile, found four of the children 
lying dead in the woods. The savages had tomahawked and 
scalped them, and placing their heads close together, turned 
their bodies and feet out so as to represent a cross. The 
dead were buried, and further pursuit given over." 

In the same month, two lads were surprised and killed at 
Neil's station, a small stockade which stood on the Kanawha, 
about a mile back of the present town of Parkersburg. The 
boys were twelve and fifteen, sons of a German who lived 


■within a few hundred yards of tlie block-house. They had been 
to the station late in the eyening, and returning, went out of 
their path to hunt the cows. The savages had watched them 
go down, and at a favorable moment fell upon them with 
their tomahawks and killed both on the spot. Alarmed at 
their delay, the parents made a search for them on the 
following morning and found their bodies as described. 
That night, the Indians attempted to burn the block-house 
by means of straw and hay, which they thrust through the 
port-holes ; but in this they were foiled by the vigilance of 
those within. 


A NEPHEW of Joseph Tomlinson, named Robert Carpenter, 
came near losing his life under the following circumstances. 
He had gone out early in the morning for the horses, and 
while hunting near Grave creek, was fired on by a party 
of Indians who were concealed near the bank. The ball 
took effect in his shoulder, breaking the bone, and inflicting 
a severe wound. Thus disabled, the Indians soon overtook 
and made him prisoner. Anxious to get possession of the 
horses, but unable to catch them, the Indians concluded to 
let Carpenter try it, as the animals knew him and would be 
less difficult to capture.-^ Accordingly, Carpenter was untied 
and started in pursuit. Going about two hundred yards, 
he determined to escape, and instead of catching the horses 
ran towards the house of a friend. But his flight was so 
greatly impeded by the old shoes which he wore, and his dis- 
abled arm, that the savages soon overtook him. Another 

' It was a matter of general remark, how much the horse of the settler 
dreaded an Indian. Many a pioneer and hunter owed the preservation of 
his life to the sagacity of his horse. The animal seemed to snuff the presence 
of the savage in the air, and neither whip nor spur could urge him by the 
dreaded spot. 


attempt was then made by the Indians to get the horses, but 
utterly failing, Carpenter ventured to offer his services, de- 
claring that he would not again try to escape, but do his best 
to catch the horses, and go along with them to their country. 
Finding they could not get near the animals, they concluded 
to trust Carpenter once more, threatening him with all 
manner of horrid deaths if he attempted again to escape. 
This time he adroitly drove the horses before him a con- 
siderable distance, and then kicking off his shoes, and taking 
a firm hold of his maimed limb, started on the race of life or 
death. He safely escaped to the house of Nathan Master, 
living on the farm now owned by Lewis D. Purdy, Esqr. 


This occurrence, which should have gone with the pre- 
ceding chapter, was unavoidably omitted, but is now given as 
possessing interest to the inhabitants in the region where 
the tragedy took place. 

Of the families gathered at Shepherd's fort^ was one by the 
name of Grice. When it was determined to evacuate the 

1 This fort was erected in 1775, by Colonel David Shepherd, at the forks 
of Wheeling, upon the spot now occupied by the fine stone .mansion of Mrs. 
Cruger. It was almost an exact square, with block-houses at two of the 
corners, so as to command the walls either way. Cabins were arranged 
along the inner sides, and the place was perhaps one of the most complete 
and safe in the west. 

In consequence of the great loss of men at Wheeling, in September 1777, 
and the death of Colonel Shepherd's son (William), and son-in-law, Francis 
Duke, it was determined in the fall of that year, to abandon the place, and 
send the families to Redstone. The fort was accordingly evacuated, Septem- 
ber 27th, 1777, and soon after the Indians burned it to the ground. 

In 1786, Colonel Shepherd deeming it safe to bring back his family, 
rebuilt the fort, and in 1790 re-constructed it. This time it was built of 
sycamore planks, three inches in thickness, and twelve feet long. They 
were placed in morticed logs, one plank resting upon another. There were 
bastions at the corners, and port-holes along ths sides. 


fort, this family, instead of seeking shelter elsewhere, con- 
cluded to return to their improvement, distant about two 

miles from the forks. The family consisted of Grice, his 

wife and five children. When near the mouth of Peter's 
run, a party of Indians, who had watched the movements at 
the fort, fell upon them and murdered, or supposed they had, 
all but one, whom they took prisoner. Rachel, a girl of 
eleven years of age, was knocked down with a war-club and 
her skull fractured, but she was not killed. Dr. Moore, 
of Catfish, was called upon, and trepanned her. She re- 
covered, and afterwards married Captain Henry Jolly, a well 
known citizen of Ohio. One of the victims was a married 
daughter, who at the time was enceinte. The eldest son, 
John, was made prisoner, who remained with them eleven 
years, but at last got an opportunity, while in Kentucky, to 
escape. The Indians who committed this depredation were 
eleven in number. Rachel said, the man who scalped her had 
blue eyes and light hair. 


One of the most bold and bloody murders perpetrated in 
the neighborhood of Wheeling, during this year, was that on 
the family of James Purdy, a worthy and industrious settler 
on the hill just above Bedelion's mill. The family consisted 
of Mr. and Mrs. Purdy and their four children. 

The cabin in which they lived was unfinished; a blanket 
supplying the place of a door. But this was not deemed 
unsafe, as no Indians had appeared in the settlement for 
some months. Shortly after dark, four Indians stepped into 
the cabin, and without uttering a word commenced butcher- 
ing the defenceless family. Two of them fell upon Purdy, who 
called to his wife for a knife, which she handed him ; but he 
was then too much exhausted from the repeated blows of the 
tomahawk to use it, and the next moment after receiving it 


sunk lifeless to the floor. Mrs. Purdy was knocked down with 
a war club ; one child was dashed against the door-way, and its 
brains scattered over the room, while an interesting little 
boy, who was screaming with fright, had both his fears and 
his pains quieted by a blow from the tomahawk. The two 
remaining children, daughters, were then made prisoners, 
and after plundering the house, efiected a hurried retreat 
across the Ohio. The girls were released after ten years' 
captivity. Mrs. Purdy was only stunned by the blow with 
the war club, and falling near the door, crawled off and 
secreted herself while the Indians were eating. 


Early in the spring of this year, a large body of Indians 
made an attack upon the settlement at the mouth of Indian 
Wheeling creek, opposite Wheeling, Virginia. A block-house 
was in course of erection, but not in a condition to be occu- 
pied; the cabin of Captain Robert Kirkwood^ was used as a 
place of resort for the neighborhood. On this occasion. Cap- 
tain Joseph Biggs, who commanded a company of scouts, 
was in the cabin with fourteen of his men. About four 
o'clock in the morning. Captain Biggs, feeling restless, arose 
and went out into the air. Returning, he closed the door, 
and what was unusual, rolled a barrel of pork against it, in 
order to make it more secure. He had scarcely time to get 

' It was our intention to Have given a biographical sketch of Captain 
Kirkwood in this volume ; but the scantiness of material at command pre- 
vents it. He was a brave and gallant soldier, and fought with considerable 
distinction in the old Delaware line, throughout the war of the Revolution. 
He is most honorably mentioned in Lee's Memoirs of the Southern Cam- 
paigns. At Camden, Holkirk's, Eutah, and Ninety-Six, Captain Kirkwood 
was in the thickest of the fight, and exhibited all the elements of a brave 
and accomplished soldier. He fell in the disastrous defeat of St. Clair, iu 
November following the attack upon his house on Indian Wheeling. 


into bed, when the attack was commenced, and a furious 
assault made upon the door by means of rails, logs, &c- The 
besieged placed themselves under Captain Biggs, by whom 
the defence was maintained in a manner highly creditable to 
him as a brave and skilful officer. He ordered every particle 
of light to be extinguished, and so stationed his men as to fire 
upon the enemy from every direction. The night was clear 
and beautiful; the moon being nearly full, gave those within 
great advantage over the enemy, as they were enabled by the 
light, to shoot the savages whenever they presented them- 
selves. Early in the engagement, Captain Biggs received a 
serious wound, but with the courage of a true soldier con- 
cealed the nature of it until day-light. In noticing the 
movements of the enemy through one of the windows of the 
cabin, an Indian, who had slipped close under the side of the 
house, suddenly thrust his rifle through the window at which 
Captain Biggs was standing, and discharging it, lodged the 
ball in the left arm of the captain, just below the shoulder. 
The bone was badly fractured, and parts of it afterwards 
came away. 

Foiled in their attempt to effect an entrance at the door, 
(which had been well secured by puncheons from the floor,) 
the savages determined to try the effect of fire ; and accord- 
ingly hurled burning fagots upon the roof, which, in a few 
minutes, was enveloped in flames. But again they were unsuc- 
cessful, for the whites pushed off the roof. The Indians now 
became furious, and commenced piling brush against the sides 
of the house, which they fired. At one time that noble little 
band thought their fate was sealed, as the flames would often 
mount to the top of the walls. "With perseverance and cau- 
tion, however, they succeeded in subduing the fire, and finally 
extinguishing it. This they did first with water, milk, and 
such other liquids as could be commanded, and finally with 
sand from beneath the cabin floor. Early in the attack, 
the mortar was removed from the chinks of the wall, and the 
savages having suffered severely from the steady aim of the 


scouts tlirougli these convenient port-lioles, retired behind the 
half-finished block-house.-' 

Shortly before day-break, the boom of a cannon was heard 
echoing among the hills, which the besieged hailed as the 
harbinger of hel^D. The firing had been heard at Wheeling, 
and the gun announced that assistance would soon be at 
hand. The savages, too, understood it, and without delay 
gathered up their wounded and disappeared in the forest. Five 
of the whites were severely wounded, one mortally. These 
were. Captain Joseph Biggs, John Walker, Elijah Hedges, 
John Barrett, and Joseph Van Meter. Walker was shot 
through the hip, severing the urethra, and causing his death 
early next day. He was removed to the residence of Colonel 
Zane, Wheeling, where he died, and was buried with military 
honors. A coat belonging to some of the inmates, which had 
been suspended by the centre-log, and was left hanging after 
the roof had been thrown off, was found, on examination, to 
be completely riddled with bullets. The number of Indians 
was never fully ascertained, nor the extent of their killed 
and wounded. They were supposed to have been the same 
concerned in the engagement with Captain Van Buskirk's 
company at the mouth of Brush run, an account of which is 
elsewhere given. 


OiSTE of the most common, and at the same time, most 
successful decoys practised by the wily savage, was that 
of the turlcey call. The case we are about to record belongs 
to that class. 

Of those forted at Grave creek, was a William Mcintosh, 
wife and child. Early one morning, the cry of a turkey was 

1 This block-house stood nearly opposite the recently erected Methodist 
chui'ch, in the town of Kirkwood. 


heard against the hill-side, across the river. Mcintosh, 
although warned against the deceptions of the enemy, started 
over with his gun and dog. He landed his canoe at a point 
nearly opposite the fort, and commenced ascending the hank. 
Before taking ten steps, the "turkey," from his concealed 
position, fired and shot his victim through the head. 

Mcintosh remaining much longer than was thought right, 
some men from the fort went over on the third day, and there 
found the unfortunate man scalped, with his faithful dog sitting 
by his side. 


On the 28th of January, (1791,) a hunting party, composed 
of Joseph Biggs, James Boggs, (son of Captain Boggs,) 
James and Alexander Mitchell, Thos. Barr, Thos. Richards, 
Elijah Whittaker, Joshua Williamsom, (brother of Colonel 
Williamson,) and some others whose names cannot be ob- 
tained, crossed the Ohio from Short creek, on a hunt in the 
Indian country. They went out as far as Stillwater, and 
having killed considerable game were about returning. As 
the party lay around their camp fire at night, a body of 
Indians rose up from beneath the creek bank, and fired 
directly into their midst. Boggs was shot through both hips 
with a large musket ball ; the rest of the party escaped 
unhurt and eluded pursuit, but lost all their guns, blankets, 
game, etc. The Indians scalped their unfortunate victim, — 
almost denuding the entire skull, then stretched him out and 
placed an old musket across his breast. His arms were 
extended at full length, and frozen so firmly in that position, 
that when the men went out from Wheeling to bury him, 
they had to amputate the limbs to get him in a convenient 
sized grave. The ground was so frozen that the men could 
not bury the body at any great depth, and the result was, as 
afterwards ascertained, that the bears scented out the spot 

1791.] FATAL SPORT. 31T 

and devoured the remains. These facts we have derived from 
Mrs. Cruger, who was sister-in-law to Mr. Boggs. The 
unfortunate man had, during the night previous to his horrible 
death, what was called a "bad dream." It was that of a 
swarm of hlach bees, some of which stung him. His com- 
panions said he spoke frequently of the circumstance during 
the day, and that he regarded it as a fatal presentiment. 

One of the latest, and perhaps the very last Indian 
murder committed on the river near Wheeling, was that of 
Uriah McCutcheon, who was killed by a small party of 
Indians near the present Harris' Ferry. According to B. 
McMechen, Esq., from whom we have obtained this fact, the 
unfortunate man was found shortly afterwards, tomahawked 
and scalped. 


In the fall of this year, three young men, Thomas Swear- 
engen, son of Captain Van Swearengen, John L. Masters, 
and a third whose name we have not been able to ascertain, 
crossed the Ohio, and commenced hunting up the valley of 
Short creek. The day was very fine, and as no Indian 
depredations had been committed for some time in that 
immediate neighborhood, the hunters believed they were 
perfectly safe. But their hopes proved a vain delusion. 
They had not gone far, when a party of Indians, doubtless 
attracted by the report of the hunters' rifles, fired upon them, 
killing Swearengen on the spot, and so wounding the others, 
that they were easily overtaken and dispatched. ■ The bodies 
of all three were afterwards found and identified. The scene 
of this disaster was some four or five "miles back from the 
river and creek. Some men from the Ohio side gave infor- 
mation of the discovery of the bodies, and a party of Vir- 
ginians from the neighborhood of Beech bottom went over 


and buried them. Similar expeditions to the one we have 
just spoken of, frequently went from this side into the Indian 
country, and they generally paid for their temerity. We 
have already noticed two or three, and now have to speak of 
another. Not long after the last mentioned occurrence, a 
party of seven, from the neighborhood of West Liberty, 
including one of the Biggs' and also one of the Hedges', 
crossed the river, and after one day's hunt, were attacked by 
a considerable body of Indians, and put to rout with the loss 
of three of their number. 


Amoxg the earlier settlers in the neighborhood of Wheeling, 
was Daniel Jolly. His improvement was on the hill, about 
three miles from the mouth of the creek. The land is, we 
believe, now occupied by Mr. McEnall, and the site of his 
cabin is still pointed out not far from the road which crosses 
the hill from the old toll-gate to the river. The family of 
Jolly consisted of himself, wife and four children, with one 
grand-child. , 

On the 8th day of June, a small party of Indians, who 
had secreted themselves behind some gooseberry bushes in 
the garden, fired upon the family, killing Mrs. Jolly instantly 
and wounding a son, daughter and grand-son. Her eldest 
son, John, had just reached the house from the corn-field, 
and was in the act of wiping the perspiration from his brow 
with the sleeve of his shirt as the ball struck him in the 
mouth. He fell, badly wounded, and the next instant the 
savages were tomahawking him. Killing and scalping the 
other wounded ones, and taking prisoner one son and a 
nephew of Mr. Jolly, named Joseph McCune, they pillaged, 
then fired the house and made a rapid retreat. Joseph 
McCune was killed after proceeding a short distance because 
he could not travel fast, as he sufi"ered from phthisic. 


Mrs. Jolly was standing in the door at the moment she 
was shot, looking in direction of the spring, to which she had 
sent one of her children. The boy at the spring, whose name 
was James, escaped, also another member of the family in 
the field. A daughter, Mary, was absent at her uncle Joseph 
McCune, who lived on the ridge road, about five miles from 
the forks of Wheeling. Mr. Jolly had gone on a journey to 
the Monongahela to receive a payment for some property 
which he had sold previous to moving out. 

The boy made prisoner remained in captivity seven years, 
and was then regained by his brother at Pensacola. He was 
discovered trading at Nashville ; and on being questioned, the 
facts of his captivity were elicited, whereupon a gentleman 
wrote to Colonel Zane, who communicated the intelligence to 
the boy's father. These particulars we have derived princi- 
pally from Mrs. Cruger, Mr. Mclntyre, and Mr. Darby. 


Early in June^ of this year occurred the last conflict, 
on the upper Ohio, between an organized party of Virginians 
and Indians. In consequence of the numerous depredations 
on the settlements now embraced in Brooke and Hancock 
counties, it was determined to summarily chastise these 
marauders; and accordingly, a party of men organized 
under the command of Captain Lawson Van Buskirk, an 
officer of tried courage and acknowledged efficiency. A party 
of Indians had committed sundry acts of violence, and it was 
believed they would endeavor to cross the Ohio on their retreat, 

^ The writer in Howe's Ohio, gives the occurrence as taking lohace in 
August, but our information is reliable for placing it in June. The late Mrs. 
Lear Shepherd, mother of Jeremiah Shepherd, Esq., of Marshall counter, Va., 
and sister-in-law of Captain Van Buskirk, was one of the persons from whom 
we derived much of the information now given. 


at some point near Mingo Bottom.^ The party of Captain 
Van Buskirk, consisted of about forty experienced frontiermen, 
some of whom were veteran Indian hunters. The number of 
the enemy was known to be about thirty. The whites crossed 
the river below the mouth of Cross creek, and marched up the 
bottom, looking cautiously for the enemy's trail. They had 
discovered it along the run, but missing it, they concluded 
to take the ridge, hoping thus to cross it. Descending the 
ridge, and just as they gained the river, the Indians fired 
upon them, killing Captain Van Buskirk, and wounding John 
Aidy. The enemy were concealed in a ravine amidst a dense 
cluster of paw-paw bushes. The whites marched in single 
file, headed by their captain, whose exposed situation will 
account for the fact that he was wounded with thirteen 
balls. The ambush quartered on their flank, and they were 
totally unsuspicious of it. The plan of the Indians was to 
permit the whites to advance in numbers along the line before 
firing upon them. This was done ; but instead of each selecting 
his man, every gun was directed at the captain, who fell, with 
thirteen bullet holes in his body. The whites and Indians 
instantly tree'd, and the contest lasted more than an hour. 
The Indians, however, were defeated, and retreated towards 
the Muskingum, with the loss of several killed, while the 
Virginians, with the exception of their captain, had none 
killed and but three wounded. 

Captain Van Buskirk's wife was killed just eleven months 
previous to the death of her husband. They lived about three 
miles from West Liberty. She had been taken prisoner by the 
Indians, and on their march towards the river, her ancle was 
sprained so that she could not walk without pain. Finding 
her an incumbrance, the wretches put her to death on the hill, 
just above where Wellsburg now stands. On the following day 
the body of this unfortunate woman was found by a party who 
had gone in pursuit. 

' This was the site of an old Mingoe town, about four miles below 

1794.] WHEELING VALLEY. 321 



The valley of Wheeling creek, one of the most beautiful 
and productive in the state, was the theatre of many a painful 
and bloody drama. Scarcely a quiet bend, or a surrounding 
hill, or a rippling tributary, that is not memorable as connected 
with the wars of the Indians. T(5 one unacquainted with its 
tragic history, it would indeed be difficult to imagine that 
these clear waters were once tinged with the blood of helpless 
women and children, and these stern old hills ever echoed to 
the terrible whoop of the savage. Such, however, is the 
melancholy fact, as our pages abundantly attest. The case 
which we are about to detail was, perhaps, the most dreadful 
that occurred in the settlement of the valley. 

Of those who settled at an early day in this region, was 
George Tush. His residence was about twelve miles from the 
river, on the farm now owned by Mr. Albert Davis. The 
family consisted of himself, wife, and five children. During 
the spring and summer of 1794, the settlements on Wheeling 
creek had been almost entirely exempt from Indian visitation, 
and many of the inhabitants began to console themselves with 
the reflection, that day was about to dawn upon their long 
night of terror. But, alas, their fondly imagined security was 
soon to be dispelled. On the evening of Saturday, September 
6th, (1794,) as George Tush was in the act of feeding his hogs, 
in a sty close to his cabin, he was fired upon by three savages, 
who had concealed themselves, and waited until he should 
leave the house. A ball struck him transversely upon the 
breast, cutting a deep gash, and inflicting a serious and painful 
wound, as it carried off a portion of the bone. It lodged in 
the shoulder blade. Tush, losing entirely his presence of 
mind, or, in all charitableness, we may allow that his pain 



deprived him of self-control, rushed madly by his own door, 
in direction of the forest, leaving his helpless family to the 
mercy of relentless savages. The next moment the Indians 
were in the house. The mother was instantly made prisoner, 
and in poAverless but quivering agony, compelled to witness 
the horrid butchery of her innocent children. In an instant 
the youngest born was dashed against a tree, and the other 
four fell beneath the reeking tomahawk. Pillaging the house 
of such articles as they could carry off, a hurried retreat 
was made, lest the escaped husband should follow in pursuit. 
The feeble woman was brutally urged on before them. But, 
alas, the scenes which she had just witnessed, together with 
her own situation, rendered her movements both slow and pain- 
ful. Fearing discovery, the wretches tomahawked their helpless 
victim, and left her at a point about eight miles from the 
place of captivity. Her remains were found some years 
afterwards by her husband, while hunting. He recognized 
them by the bones of an infant with which she was at the 
time largely enceinte. 

Of the children tomahawked and scalped, one, a little girl 
of four years, recovered, and the infant, whose brains were 
supposed to have been dashed out, was found alive on the 
following day, lying upon its dead sisters and brothers. 
That child still lives, and is the wife of George Goodrich, 
residing near Shelbyville, la. The children had, a few days 
before, gathered a quantity of acorns, which, it is supposed, 
prevented the hogs disturbing the remains. 

Tush, in his fright, ran some distance, and jumped from a 
ledge of rocks fifteen feet in height. This so disabled him 
that he could not get to Jacob Wetzel's house, which was 
just across the creek, until late at night. He was taken to 
Wheeling a day or two after, and there remained until his 
wound was healed. (See letter of Mr. Darby, in a Note at 
the end of present chapter, for some interesting facts con- 
nected with this case.) 



Late in the fall of 1794, two brothers, named John and 
Joseph Scott, accompanied by a man named Thomas Manning, 
started on a hunting expedition to Stillwater. They believed 
the season so far advanced that no danger need be appre- 
hended from Indians. The three men traversed the country 
lying between Wheeling and Stillwater without molestation, 
or indication of Indians. On the first night of their arrival 
out, they kindled a fire, and after supper prepared for rest. 
Manning, who was an experienced hunter, attempted to dis- 
suade the Scotts from remaining near the fire. They, how- 
ever, disregarded the advice, and laughed at his fears. But 
Manning declared he would not sleep there, and accordingly 
moved off a short distance. Scarcely had he changed his 
position, when a party of Indians opened a fire upon them, 
killing the brothers instantly, and wounding Manning severely, 
by breaking his left arm. Reserving his fire, the Indians 
did not rush upon him, and supposing he was mortally wound- 
ed, ran upon the Scotts, and plied the tomahawk, that the 
work of death might be complete. Manning escaped, and 
made his way to Wheeling. Immediately a party of whites 
went out and buried the unfortunate brothers. The savages 
had singularly maimed one of the ill-fated men. 

The Scotts were active and industrious men, good hunters, 
and much respected by all who knew them. Joseph married 
Debby Hardesty. He lived on the point where the warehouse 
of Anderson & Pancoast now stands, in Bridgeport. John 
lived on the island. 

324 A DEAD SHOT. [ChAP. II. 


Jonathan Zane was perhaps one of the best shots in the 
west. He prided himself particularly upon his skill in this 
respect. The following incident shows that he was not only 
a good shot, but a dead shot. We derive the facts from Mr. 
Reuben Miller, of Bridgeport, Ohio, long a personal friend of 
Mr. Zane. 

About the year 1808, the two (Miller and Zane) were 
walking near where Phillips' foundry now stands, in Wheel- 
ing, when Zane remarked, " About here, I once killed five 
Indians. I was returning home from hunting my horses, 
and in passing through the high weeds which at that time 
grew all around, I saw five Indians jump into the river, and 
swim for the island. I fired, and one of them sunk. Load- 
ing and firing three times in quick succession, three others 
were killed before reaching the opposite bank." The fifth 
and last, seeing the fate of his companions, concealed himself 
behind a sawyer, near the island shore, hoping thus to escape 
the deadly aim of the white man. After several ineffectual 
attempts to dislodge him, the effort was about to be given 
over, when Zane noticed a portion of his abdomen protruding 
below the log. Drawing a fine aim on the exposed part, he 
fired, and the savage rolled into the stream. 


A Mr. Armstrong, one of the early settlers at Belpre, 
having secured some land on the Virginia side, built a mill 
and cabin near the head of Blannerhasset's Island, and in the 
spring of 1794 moved over his family, consisting of his wife 
and five children. Shortly after their change of residence, a 
party of Indians concealed themselves on the river hill im- 

1794.] INDIAN VIOLENCE. 325 

mediately back of Armstrong's house, and in full view of the 
stockade at Belpre. At early dawn, Mr. Armstrong heard 
that so often fatal decoy, the turkey-call, and taking his dog 
and gun, sallied forth to secure a shot before they should leave 
the roost. One of the sons, taken prisoner, and now living 
near Columbus, Ohio, relates what followed. "After proceed- 
ing a short distance, either from the dog, or some other 
circumstance, Armstrong became alarmed, retreated to the 
house and barred the door. The Indians pursued, and en- 
deavored to get it open, but failing on the first attempt, they 
took a rail to effect their purpose. While they were endeavor- 
ing to gain entrance, Mr. Armstrong snapped his gun, in an 
attempt to shoot, but it did not go off; he then ascended 
the loft, and removing some of the roof, escaped through the 
opening, while the Indians were breaking down the door. 
The alarm was given to the stockade in upper Belpre, and 
a party went over. They met Mr. Armstrong and the two 
eldest sons, who had been in the mill. Mrs. Armstrong they 
found dead on the outside of the cabin. It appeared as if she 
had attempted to escape from the roof, as her husband did ; 
but being a heavy woman, had probably fallen and broken her 
leg. Two children were dead, and a little girl still alive, but 
insensible, though when disturbed, she would say, 'What's 
that?' Mrs. Armstrong and two children were scalped; one 
child about two years of age was not. Two sons who were 
in the cabin were taken prisoners, and carried to their towns, 
where they remained until the close of the war, when their 
elder brothers brought them from the Indian country." 

Between the years 1784 and 1793, several murders were 
committed along the river below Grave creek ; the exact dates 
of some of these we have not been able to ascertain, but will 
nevertheless give a brief notice of the occurrences. Adam 


Roe and family, who had been forted at Tomlinson's, consi- 
dering it safe to return to their improvement, and becoming 
very tired of fort life, determined to start for the mouth of 
Fishing creek, and were all killed ten miles below. 

Proctor was an early settler near the mouth of a stream 
now known as Proctor's run. Finding the Indians becoming 
troublesome, he proposed to remove his family to Wheeling, 
but the savages were likely to intercept him, and he was com- 
pelled to look for some other place. A few miles up the run is a 
remarkable rock, presenting a concealed entrance, but open- 
ing out into a fine large chamber, perfectly dry, and spacious 
enough to contain thirty or forty persons. Into this Proctor 
moved with his family, and for some time succeeded in elud- 
ing the wily savages. He however, continued imprudently 
to venture out, and the Indians discovering his tracks, sta- 
tioned a spy to ascertain his place of abode. This once done, 
they made an attack, killing the occupant with two of his 
children. Mrs. Proctor having a child in her arms, elicited 
the sympathy of an old Indian who stood by, and declared 
that she should not be killed. She was then made prisoner, 
but succeeded that night in eluding their vigilance, and 
making her escape. 'She reached Wheeling the next day in 



There being some discrepancy between the accounts of Mrs. Cruger and 
Mr. Darby, as to the time of certain occurrences in the settlement of the 
west, we addressed the latter a note, and in reply, received the following 
interesting letter, which will fully explain itself. 

W. De Hass, Esq. :— 

Dear Sir, — Your note of this day I have duly received, and with sincere 
pleasure proceed to comply with your requisitions ; especially, as the facts 
will have a more fitting and enduring place of record, than if stated in a 
public print — which it was my intention to have done, had you not presented 
a superior vehicle. 

Though not offered as material to the historical facts, I preface my recol- 
lections, with a statement of my position at the time of their occurrence, 
and my age when brought on the theatre. I was born on the 14th August, 
1775, and arrived with my parents on the ground where Washington, Penn- 
sylvania, now stands, December 25th, 1781, of course in my seventh year. 
Though so young, I very distinctly remember such striking circumstances 
as attended Indian war, and to which I was either an ear or eye-witness. 

In the summer previous to the removal of his family, my father came to 
Washington county, and built a cabin, and made a crop on William Wolf's 
farm, on one of the head branches of Buffalo, about five miles west of where 
the borough of Washington now stands. We had come out, and were living 
in the cabin, when early in 1782, the Indians committed some murders, and 
the people took refuge in their block-houses, and we, with others, were, 
through part of February and March, forted in Jacob Wolf's block-house. 
The Great Western road traverses the site of this once rude fortress, ' in 
which, sixty-eight years past, the writer of these words was sheltered from 
the fury of savages. 

Simultaneous with the above stated circumstances, was planned and car- 
ried into effect, the campaign under the nominal command of Colonel David 
Williamson, and which led on to the deplorable massacre of the Moravian 
christianized Indians, on the Tuscarawas. In after life, I personally knew 
several men who participated in this affair, and particularly Colonel Wil- 
liamson ; and am now constrained to express my full conviction, that the 

1 Wolf's fort, or block-house, stood near the spot now occupied by the 
dwelling-house of Mr. Brownlee, five miles west of Washington, Pa. It was 
a regular stockade. 


fatal issue was not premeditated, but the effect of some momentary impulse. 
You will have, no doubt, means more ample than any in my power to sup- 
ply, to set this part of frontier history in correct points of view. 

As the season or summer of 1782 advanced, another, and much more impor- 
tant expedition against the Indians was planned, and mustered under the 
joint commands of Colonels David Williamson and William Crawford. This 
little army penetrated the Indian country, was met, and utterly defeated. 
Colonel Crawford was made captive, and burned by the savages. In the 
very neighborhood where I was then living, about two miles from Catfish, 
(Washington). John Campbell, William Nimmons, William Huston, and Wil- 
liam Johnston, never returned, though their individual fate was, I believe, 
never revealed. I mention the facts from their tendency to fix their 
memory on my mind ; the more, as they influenced all my after life. My 
parents never returned to their cabin near Wolf's fort. Through 1782, and 
into 1783, we resided onland as already stated. In 1783, 1784, and into 1785, 
we resided on the land long known as Ofiicers' farm, then owned by James 
Brownlee. Early in 1785, my father purchased from Thomas Goudy, the 
farm, afterwards long owned by Benedict Reynolds, and on which my parents, 
with their children, resided from early in 1785 to 1793. 

In my father's first visit to the west, and before the removal of his family, 
of the many persons he made acquaintance with, one was Mr. Becham, and 
a second, Mr. Crow, the fathers of the victims whose fate you have to record. 
I do not remember to have seen the former, but the latter was frequently at 
our house on the Reynold farm, and spent great part of a day with us, 
only a few days before the murder of his two daughters, and the astonishing 
escape of his other daughter, Christina, as you have found stated by Colonel 
Lewis Bonnett. 

I had a half-brother, five years older than myself, and while life remains, 
I must remember his return home, and communicating to his parents, the 
murder of two sons, and the scalping and tomahawking of a third, named 
Thomas, who survived ; the children of Mr. Becham. I had then never been, 
or expected to be, west of our long-deserted cabin on Buffalo. The year, I 
cannot attempt to state, but can decidedly say, it was not later than 1788, 
and I think was in 1787. 

My first residence on Wheeling waters, was commenced early in 1793, in 
the Bonnett, Wetzel, Keller, Mercer, &c. neighborhood, about five or six 
miles above Shepherd's fort, now Mrs. Cruger's farm. Amongst other per- 
sons, I became acquainted with in this neighborhood, was George Tush, who 
resided with his family near Bennetts and Wetzels. 

Late in 1793, I went to, and opened a school in the then very small, but 
as on the extreme frontier, the very important village of Wheeling; in 
which, and in its immediate neighborhood, I remained vmtil 1795. Thus, I 
was there, during the important year of 1794, important in an especial manner 
to the long distressed frontier on the Ohio. The power of the savages was 


broken ; fear of their inroads was in great part efFaced ; but the lapse of 
time was too brief to permit the horrors of their inroads to be forgotten. 
The confidence of safety was still felt, and it was in this state of mind, that 
the people of Wheeling received the feai'ful news of the murder of Mrs. Tush 
and her children. The wounded and still bleeding husband and father was 
brought to our midst, and placed under the care of George Cookis and his 
wife. I have already stated that I had a previous personal acquaintance 
with Tush; and by a curious coincidence, the Becham murder, the Crow mur- 
der, and other similar tragedies acted years before, were all brought up to 
our most vivid remembrance, and we had, beside the Tush family, other 
events to give activity to our recollections. % yr ^ 

In conclusion, I must say, that if any one more than another, desires 
complete success to your work, I am that man. The deepest fountains of 
my heart are opened, when mentally scanning the scenes of former years — 
of days long gone by. You will have the credit of aiding in the preservation 
of names of persons, the value of whose services in life, the present genera- 
tion can but faintly estimate. They were the heroes and martyrs who 
braved the danger, and endured the hardships of a savage frontier — they 
prepared the way which led to the smiling counti-y which now blooms in 
plenty and peace. When in my old age I can, by the exercise of a sacred 
duty, have my name associated with those you will place on record, I must 
sincerely thank Eternal Power for the greatest of earthly favors. My path 
through life has yet had strewn along it more thorns than roses ; but your 
book, when I receive it, will cure the pain of many sharp thorns, and 
sweeten the remaining years of a long and changeful existence. Such read- 
ing will recall deeds of heroism, and manly traits of character which no 
other section of earth can give examples to excel. With sentiments of sin- 
cere gratitude for your confidence, and hope o'f your success, 

I am, &c., &c., William Darby. 

Washington City, March 20, 1850. 






Biography has, with much truth, been styled the most in- 
teresting, as well as the most entertaining species of literature. 
It is the only way in which individuality can be exhibited. 
What a fund of knowledge is found in Plutarch; what an 
invaluable treasure to the future will be Sparks' Life and 
Writings of our incomparable Washington. 

Cicero has eloquently observed, that — 

" The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living." 

This, however, is unhappily not strictly true in the west. The 
memories of our pioneer fathers are passing away ; and unless 
ome attempt speedily be made to rescue them from impending 
oblivion, they will soon be forgotten. The heroes who flour- 
ished before Agamemnon, says the great Roman lyric poet, 
passed into forgetfulness for want of a recording pen. Shall 
such be the fate of the gallant men, who devoted their ener- 
gies and their lives to building up, in the great valley of the 
west, the noble Republican structure, now the heritage of us 
all ? It has long been charged upon us, that we are culpably 
neglectful of the memories of our great men ; that we seem 


to despise glory, or despise the means of perpetuating it ; and 
trust to tradition for " transmitting the story of our birth, 
growth, and struggle for independence." This is a severe, but 
not an unmerited reflection ; and henceforward we hope to 
have no more cause for reproach. The character of every 
man in the west, who took any active part in the settlement 
of the country, contains abundant material for a most inter- 
esting biography. What can possess more of interest to the 
people of the present day, and of this particular region, 
than a narrative of the toils, struggles and adventures of the 
men, whose unshod feet tracked in blood the snows of the 
upper Ohio ; whose single-handed combats with the fierce and 
relentless savage, are unsurpassed in the annals of border 
warfare ? 

With this brief introductory notice, we shall proceed to give 
a sketch of one who took no ordinary part in reclaiming and 
settling North- Western Virginia. 

Col. Ebenezer Zane was born October Tth, 1747, in the 
county of Berkeley, Virginia. The family is of Danish ori- 
gin, but at an early day moved to France, thence to England, 
and, towards the latter end of the seventeenth century, emi- 
grated to America. One branch of the family settled in New 
Jersey, nearly opposite Philadelphia ; the other in Virginia. 
The subject of our notice sprung from this latter branch. The 
spirit of restless energy, which so distinguished the old Norse- 
man, was not long in exhibiting itself in some of his Virginia 
descendants. At the age of twenty-three, with no friend but 
his faithful dog, and no weapons but his knife and gun, our 
intrepid hero struck out into the untrodden wilderness, to 
hunt himself a home, and make himself a name in the immense 
regions stretching far out toward the setting sun. On a bright 
morning in June, 1770, he stood upon the high bank of the 
Ohio, just above the confluence of Wheeling creek, and gazing 
upon the outspread landscape of island, hill and river, his en- 
raptured vision comprehended all, and more than realized his 
most extravagant expectations. The scene before him was 

1772.] A CHANGE. 333 

one of perfect repose. The morning mist just lifted from the 
bosom of the clear, calm river, was gliding slowly upward, 
revealing to the lone pioneer a panorama of unsurpassed love- 
liness. Not a breath of air disturbed the glittering dew drops 
which hung upon the forest leaves, but all was the unbroken 
stillness of nature, save when an occasional feathered song- 
ster sent his shrill notes through the echoing vale. But our 
young adventurer was not the man to look upon such a scene 
with a painter or a poet's eye. He saw at a glance the great 
advantage of the point, and at once resolved to make there his 
home. This act showed him to be a man of much judgment 
and sagacity. At that early day, he saw all the advantages 
presented by the locality. He clearly realized in his mind's 
eye the prophetic line of BishojD Berkeley ; and that some 
point on the Ohio, near where he stood, must eventually be- 
come an important place through the trade and travel of the 
west. How well that conception has been fulfilled, let the 
most flourishing city in the State attest. 

Building a cabin, and remaining one season on the Ohio, 
Mr. Zane returned for his family, and having induced a few 
resolute friends to accompany him, moved west in the spring 
of 1772. Deeming it unsafe to carry his family direct to 
their new abode, he left them at Redstone ; and, in company 
with his brothers, Jonathan and Silas, (see Note A., close of 
this chapter) and two or three others, proceeded to take pos- 
session of his rights in the west. At that time there was 
not a permanent Anglo-Saxon settlement from the source to 
the mouth of the Ohio. The little band at Wheeling stood 
alone in the immense solitude stretching out for thousands of 
of miles, now the abode of millions of freemen ! What a 
change in one single life-time ! What miracles of beneficent 
and glorious, social and political changes, have been wrought 
in that interval ! Seventy -nine years ago the valley of the 
JMississippi, with its mighty river sweeping through an im- 
mensity of space, Avas as little known as when Ponce de Leon 
sought there for the fountain of perennial life, which was to 


restore to his veteran limbs the vigor and freshness of youth. 
Behold it now ! Did the magic wand of the magician ever 
work greater wonders in the kaleidoscope of his mystic art ? 

With their sturdy arm, the Zanes soon opened a "clearing," 
letting the sunlight into the heart of the forest, and in due time 
had the satisfaction of gathering a good crop of corn. Com- 
pleting his cabin, ^ and making other preparations for the 
safety of his family, Mr. Zane visited Redstone, and that fall 
effected a final removal. With the opening of 1773, came 
quite a number of settlers from the South-branch, and then 
was permanently formed a settlement which has grown to a 
city of many thousands. 

Mr. Zane married Elizabeth McColloch, sister to the daring 
borderers whose services on the frontier we have already had 
occasion so often to mention. She bore him thirteen children, 
Catharine, Ann, Sarah, Noah, John, Samuel, Hetty, Jesse, 
and Daniel, with four who died early, bearing names afterwards 
given respectively to some of those enumerated above. Of 
this sterling matron, about whose generosity, devotion, and 
zeal so much has been said, we regret that our limits will pre- 
clude the possibility of adding more. Suffice it, her whole 
life was the best commentary upon, and her children the best 
illustration of, what such a wife should be. 

The clearing of Col. Zane embraced about ten acres, com- 
prehending that portion of the present city of Wheeling, lying 
along Main and Market streets, from the brow of the hill to 
a point above where the Suspension Bridge crosses. It was 
girdled on every side by the dark green forest, save on the 
west, where swept the beautiful river. 

Col. Zane's intercourse with the natives having been marked 
by mildness, courtesy, and honorable dealing, his hamlet 

' This stood upon the same ground now occupied by the stone mansion of 
the late Noah Zane, Esq. The first cabin was bm-ned by the Indians, in 
1777, but was replaced by a larger, and more substantial one, which stood 
until 1798, when it was made to give way to the present edifice. 

1780.] EEMARKS. 335 

escaped the fury of tlie savages, and nothing occurred to 
mar the pleasure of his western life, until the fall of 1777. 
Having elsewhere noticed in detail the attack on Fort Henry, 
in September of that year, it will be unnecessary to say more 
at this time, but pass on to the consideration of our personal 

Col. Zane received, from time to time, various marks of 
distinction, from the Colonial, State, and National govern- 
ments. He was a disbursing officer under Dunmore, and en- 
joyed under the commonwealth numerous civil and military 
distinctions. He always preferred, however, the peace and 
quietude of his own home to the bustle and pomp of public 
place. He was as generous as brave ; strictly honorable to 
all men, and most jealous of his own rights. He possessed, 
in an eminent degree, the constituents of a true gentleman — 
the disposition to render unto all their due — the quick, del- 
icate, accurate perception , of others' rights and others' 
claims. His temperament was nervous-bilious — quick, im- 
petuous, and hard to restrain when excited. He was, in short, 
a plain blunt man, rude of speech but true of heart, knowing 
nothing of formalities, and caring about little else than his 
family, his friends, and his country. 

The personal appearance of Colonel Zane was somewhat 
remarkable: dark complexion, piercing black eyes, huge 
brows, and prominent nose. Not very tall, but uncommonly 
active and athletic, he was a match for almost any man in the 
settlement, and many are the incidents, in wood and field, told 
of his prowess and his strength. He was a devoted hunter, 
and spent much of his time in the woods. But few men 
could out-shoot, and fewer still out-run him. In illustration 
of his skill with the rifle, we will give an incident. About the 
year 1781, some of the whites in the fort observed an Indian 
on the island going through certain personal movements for 
the especial benefit of those within the fort. Colonel Zane's 
attention having been drawn to the indelicate performances, 
declared he would spoil the sport, and charging his rifle with 


an additional ball, patiently waited for the chap to re-appear. 
In a moment his naked body was seen emerging from behind 
a large sycamore, and commencing anew his pei'formances, 
Colonel Zane drew upon him a practised aim, and the next 
instant the native harlequin was seen to go through a peculiar 
gyration, believed not to have been "in the bills." 

Colonel Zane was a man of true courage, as is exemplified 
by his almost single-handed defence of his own dwelling, in 
the fall of 1782. 

The government of the United States, duly appreciating 
his capacity, energy and influence, emplo^^ed him by an act 
of Congress, May, 1796, to open a road from Wheeling to 
Limestone, (Maysville.) This duty he performed in the fol- 
lowing year, assisted by his brother Jonathan, and son-in-law 
John Mclntyre, aided by an Indian guide, Tomepomehala, 
Avhose knowledge of the country enabled him to render 
valuable suggestions. The road was marked through under 
the eye of Colonel Zane, and then committed to his assistants 
to cut out. As a compensation for opening this road. Con- 
gress granted Colonel Zane the privilege of locating military 
warrants upon three sections of land ; the first to be at the 
crossing of the Muskingum, the second at Hock-hocking, and 
the third at Scioto. Colonel Zane thought of crossing the 
Muskingum at Duncan's falls, but foreseeing the great value 
of the hydraulic power created by the falls, determined to 
cross at the point where Zanesville has since been established, 
and thus secure this important power. The second section 
was located where Lancaster now stands, and the third on 
the east side of the Scioto opposite Chillicothe. The first he 
gave principally, to his two assistants for services rendered. 
In addition to these fine possessions. Colonel Zane acquired 
large bodies of land throughout Western Virginia, by locating 
patents for those persons whose fear of the Indians deterred 
them undertaking personally so hazardous an enterprise. 

After a life full of adventure and vicissitude, the subject of 
our notice died of jaundice, in 1811, at the age of sixty-four. 



In the spring of 1771, Jonathan and Silas Zane visited the west, and made 
explorations during the summer and fall of that year. Jonathan was per- 
haps, the most experienced hunter of his day in the west. He was a man of 
great energy of character, resolution, and restless activity. He rendered 
efficient service to the settlements about Wheeling, in the capacity of spy. 
He was remarkable for an earnestness of purpose, an energy and inflexi- 
bility of will, which often manifested itself in a way truly astonishing. Few 
men shared more of the confidence, and more of the respect of his fellow- 
men, than Jonathan Zane. He was one of the pilots in Crawford's expedi- 
tion, and it is said, strongly admonished the unfortunate commander against 
proceeding ; as the enemy were very numerous, and would certainly defeat 
him. He died in Wheeling, at his own residence, a short distance above the 
present site of the first ward public school. He left large landed pos- 
sessions, most of which were shared by his children. The late Mrs. Ebenezer 
Martin, Mrs. Wood, and Mrs. Hildreth, of Belmont county, Ohio, were 
chilch'en of his ; also, the late Mrs. Daniel Zane, of the island. 

Of Colonel Zane's other brothers, Silas and Andrew, little can be gathered 
of their personal history. The latter was kiUed by the Indians, while 
crossing the Scioto ; Isaac was a somewhat more conspicuous character. He 
was taken captive when but nine years of age, and carried to the Indian 
towns, where, he afterwards stated, he remained four years without seein» a 
white man. He became thoroughly Indian in habits and appearance, and 
married the sister of a distinguished Wyandott chief, by whom he raised a 
family of eight children. He acquired, with his tawny bride, large landed 
property, and became an important man in the confederacy. But, notwith- 
standing all this, he remained true to the whites, and often was the means 
of communicating important intelligence, which may have saved the settle- 
ments from most bloody visitations. In consideration of these services, the 
government granted him a patent for ten thousand acres of land, on Mad 
river, where he lived and died. 





The story of McColloch's ride, is as familiar to most 
readers as that of Putnam's, or the famed leap of Curtius ; 
but very few beyond the neighborhood where he lived, know 
anything of his personal history. Indeed, until very re- 
cently, it was a question of doubt who the rider was, — which 
of the Major McColloch's. It is to supply this desideratum, 
as well as to do justice to the memory of a brave and meri- 
torious man, that the present memoir has been prepared. 

At the time of issuing our prospectus, we believed that 
Major John McColloch was the person who accomplished this 
wonderful feat ; but soon after learned that the true hero 
was Major Samuel, (an elder brother of the other.) We 
were led into this error by injudicious friends of the first 
named officer, whose opportunities for knowing the facts we 
supposed were abundant, and whom we presumed would not 
attempt to warp history for selfish purposes. The mistake 
we shall now attempt to rectify. 

Most writers on the border history of the west, have given 
the credit of this achievement to the younger brother, for the 
reason, perhaps, that the first was killed at a very early day, 
and the other was long known as " Major McColloch." 

Unfortunately for the annals of the west, but few written 
memoranda were made by the first settlers, and these are 
so vague and unsatisfactory as to be of little service to the 
biographer or historian. Very few of the old pioneers were 
able to commit their thoughts to paper ; and those who could, 
did not deem the daily occurrences of life of sufficient im- 


portance to place upen record. This, doubtless, would at 
that time, have been regarded as a most extravagant waste 
of stationery. Thus it was, that no permanent records were 
made ; and thus it is, we have but little tangible means at 
command to work upon. The want of such reliable records, 
is one of the greatest difficulties in the way of the historian. 
Major John McColloch, as we have learned from some 
members of his family, kept a regular journal of his personal 
movements ; but this cannot now be found, and the presump- 
tion is, it was destroyed. The family were long under the 
impression that the record had fallen into the hands of Dr. 
Doddridge, who was a brother-in-law to Major McColloch. 
Learning this, we addressed a note of inquiry to a member of 
Dr. D.'s family, and received in reply the information that no 
such paper could be found. 

The McColloch family was one of the earliest that settled 
on Short creek, where different branches of it still continue 
to reside. There were originally three brothers, Abraham, 
Samuel and John, and two sisters. The men were brave, 
active and generous ; the sisters in every respect worthy of 
such brothers. Colonel Ebenezer Zane married Elizabeth, 
whose whole life was a model of gentleness, virtue and love. 
Of the brothers, no men were more respected by their neigh- 
bors, or more dreaded by the Indians. Abraham was the 
elder, Samuel next, and John the third. 

At a very early age, the hero of our sketch distinguished 
himself as a bold and efficient borderer. As an " Indian 
hunter," he had few superiors. He seemed to track the wily 
red man with a sagacity as remarkable as his efforts were 
successful. He was almost constantly engaged in excursions 
against the enemy, or "scouting" for the security of the settle- 
ments. It was mainly to these energetic operations that 
the frontier was so often saved from savage depredation, and 
by cutting off their retreat, attacking their hunting camps, 
and annoying them in various other ways, he rendered 
himself so great an object of fear and hatred. Eor these 


tliey marked him, and vowed sleepless vengeance against the 

In consideration of his many very efficient services. Samuel 
McColloch was commissioned Major in 1775. The daring 
feat to which allusion has been made, and an account of which 
we have elsewhere said should be given, was performed Sep- 
tember 2d, 1777. The circumstances connected with this 
remarkable achievement, having been noticed in an account 
of the first siege of Wheeling, it now alone remains to give 
the sequel, as then promised. The Indians, it will he remem- 
bered, drove the gallant major to the summit of a lofty hill, 
which overhangs the present city of Wheeling. Knowing 
their relentless hostility toward himself, he strained every 
muscle of his noble steed to gain the summit, and then escape 
along the brow in direction of Van Metre's fort. At length 
he attained the top, and galloping ahead of his pursuers, 
rejoiced at his lucky escape. As he gained a point on the 
hill near where the Cumberland Road now crosses, what should 
he suddenly encounter but a considerable body of Indians, 
who were just returning from a plundering excursion among 
the settlements. 

In an instant, he comprehended the full extent of his danger. 
Escape seemed out of the question, either in the direction of 
Short creek or back to the bottom. A fierce and revengeful 
foe completely hemmed him in, cutting off every chance of 
successful retreat or escape. What was to be done ? Fall 
into their hands, and share the most refined torture savage 
ingenuity could invent ? That thought was agony, and in an 
instant the bold soldier, preferring death among the rocks 
and bramble to the knife and fagot of the savage, deter- 
mined to plunge over the precipice before him.'^ Without a 

' The hill at this point is Ml three hundred feet in height, and at that 
time was, in many places, almost perpendicular. Since then, the construc- 
tion of the road has somewhat changed its features. The exact spot where 
the rider went over, is close to a small house standing near where the road 

m'coiloch's leap. 

1777.] THE LEAP. 341 

moment's hesitation, for the savages were pressing upon him, 
he firmly adjusted himself in his saddle, grasped securely the 
bridle with his left hand, and supporting his rifle in the right, 
pushed his unfaltering old horse over ! A plunge, a crash, — 
crackling timber and tumbling rocks were all that the won- 
dering savages could see or hear. They looked chagrined but 
bewildered, one at another ; and while they inwardly regretted 
that the fire had been spared its duty, they could not but 
greatly rejoice that their most inveterate enemy was at length 
beyond the power of doing further injury. But, lo ! ere 
a single savage had recovered from his amazement, what 
should they see but the invulnerable major on his white 
steed, galloping across the peninsula. Such was the feat of 
Major McColloch, certainly one of the most daring and suc- 
cessful ever attempted. The place has become memorable as 
McColloch's leap, and will remain, so long as the hill stands, 
and the recollections of the past have a place in the hearts of 
the people. Our engraver has given a very effective and 
correct representation of this "leap." 

It is to us a matter of great regret, that more of the stirring 
incidents in this man's life have not been collected and pre- 
served. We have heard of many daring feats of personal 
prowess, but they come to us in such a mixed and unsatisfac- 
tory form, as to render their publication, at this time, unsafe. 
We trust, however, to embody many new incidents in a future 

We come now to the most painful duty of the biographer 
— the catastrophe — the death of his hero. Towards the 
latter end of July, 1782, indications of Indians having been 
noticed by some of the settlers. Major McColloch and his 
brother John, mounted their horses, and left Van Metre's fort, 
to ascertain the correctness of the report. They crossed Short 
creek, and continued in the direction of Wheeling, but 
inclining towards the river. They scouted closely, but cau- 
tiously, and not discovering any such "signs" as had been 
stated, descended to the bottom at a point on the farm now 


owned by Alfred P. Woods, about two miles above Wheeling. 
Thej then passed up the river to the mouth of Short creek, 
and thence up Girty's Point^ in the direction of Van Metre's. 
Not discovering any indications of the enemy, the brothers 
were riding leisurely along, (July 30, 1782,) and when a short 
distance beyond the " point," a deadly discharge of rifles took 
place, killing Major McColloch instantly. His brother escaped, 
but his horse was killed. Immediately mounting that of his 
brother, he made off, to give the alarm. As yet no enemy 
had been seen ; but turning in his saddle, after riding fifty 
yards, the path was filled with Indians, and one fellow in the 
act of scalping the unfortunate Major. Quick as thought, 
the rifle of John was at his shoulder, and an instant more, the 
savage was rolling in the agonies of death. John escaped to 
the fort unhurt, with the exception of a slight wound on 
his hip. 

On the following day, a party of men from Van Metre's 
went out and gathered up the mutilated remains of Major 
McColloch. The savages had disemboweled him, but the 
viscera all remained except the heart. Some years subsequent 
to this melancholy affair, an Indian, who had been one of the 
party on this occasion, told some whites that the heart of Major 
McColloch had been divided and eaten hy the party ! This was 
done, said he, that "We be bold, like Major McColloch."^ On 
another occasion, an Indian, in speaking of the incident, 
said, " The whites (meaning John McColloch) had killed a 

' This is a short distance from the Ohio, and is the abrupt termination of 
one of the elevated river ridges. It derived its name from the famous and 
infamous white renegade, Simon Girty. It was his favorite place for striking 
into the interior. The path first made by his Indians, is still used by the 
people of the neighborhood. 

2 This incident, in the absence of all other proof, should go far to confirm 
the statement ,that it was Major Samuel who rode down the hill. The Indian 
character venerates such deeds of lofty daring. 

We have heard the story of eating the heart, from many persons. Very 
recently it has again been related to us by Mr. John Yarnall of this city, 
whose aunt he often heard speak of it. 


great captain, but they (the Indians) had killed a greater 

Before closing this hasty sketch, it may, perhaps, be well 
enough to advert again to the question of identity. 

In the first place, then, it seems generally conceded that 
the person who accomplished the feat was Major McColloch ; 
and the year of its occurrence 1777. Well, Samuel McCol- 
loch was commissioned major in 1775, John not until 1795. 
Let the candid reader say which could have been the man. 
But, further ; in 1775-6-7, etc., Samuel McColloch was one 
of the most active and distinguished . borderers, in Virginia — 
the pride of the settlements, and a terror to the savages. John 
was born in 1759, and, therefore, in 1777 was only eighteen 
years of age ; — quite too young a man to have rendered himself 
so odious to the fierce old Shawanee warriors. But there 
need be no necessity for depending upon doubtful conjecture, 
or uncertain data. "Without one single exception, all the older 
citizens agree in saying that it was Major Samuel. The late 
Colonel Woods said so, unhesitatingly ; and we believe, stated 
very positively, that Major John never claimed the credit, 
although he (W.) often talked to him of the exploit. 

The story in favor of Major John is clearly of modern 
origin ; the result of a mistake in a writer of romance, who 
gave the credit without knowing the facts. 

Major John McColloch was, perhaps, quite as brave and true 
as his brother. He did ample service in the cause of our long 
struggle for independence, and a more devoted patriot could 
not be found. He filled many important posts of honor and 
trust, and was greatly respected. The early records of Ohio 
county show that he acted a conspicuous part on the bench 
and otherwise. 

The death of Major Samuel McColloch occurred at the most 
unfortunate period of our history. It was in the summer of 
that year, (1782,) so memorable in the annals of the west. 
The united tribes of the north and west were meditatino- an 
attack upon the frontier posts of Virginia, and many feared 


some of the weaker ones might yield. Amid such perilous 
scenes as these, the death of such men as Major McColloch 
could not hut be greatly deplored. 

Major McColloch married a Miss Mitchell, and had only 
enjoyed the wedded life six months at the time of his death. 
His widow married Andrew Woods. 


Who in the west, has not heard of Wetzel — the daring 
borderer, — the brave and successful Indian hunter ; the 
Boone of North- Western Virginia ? Within the recollectiow 
of many of our readers, Lewis Wetzel was regarded by many 
of the settlers in the neighborhood of Wheeling, as the right 
arm of their defence. His presence was considered as a 
tower of strength to the infant settlements, and an object of 
terror to the fierce and restless savages who prowled about 
and depredated upon our frontier homes. The memory of 
Wetzel should be embalmed in the hearts of the people of 
Western Virginia; for his efforts in defence of their fore- 
fathers, were without a parallel in border warfare. Among 
the foremost and most devoted, he plunged into the fearful 
strife which a bloody and relentless foe waged against the 
feeble colonists. He threw into the common treasury a soul 
as heroic, as adventurous, as full of energy, and exhaustless 
of resources, as ever animated the human breast. Bold, wary 
and active, he stood without an equal in the pursuit to which 
he had committed himself, mind and body. No man on the 
western frontier was more dreaded by the enemy, and none 
did more to beat him back into the heart of the forest, and 
reclaim the expanseless domain which we now enjoy. Unfor- 
tunately for the memory of Wetzel, no reliable account of him 
has ever been published. The present generation know little 

' See note A. for orthography of this name. 

1787.] HIS CHARACTER. 345 

of his personal history, save as gathered from the exaggerated 
pages of romance, or the scarcely less painted traditions of 
the day. With many, he is regarded as having been very 
little better than a semi-savage; a man whose disposition was 
that of the enraged tiger, and whose only propensity was for 
blood. Our information warrants us in stating that these 
conceptions are all false. Lewis Wetzel was never known to 
inflict unwonted cruelty upon women and children, as has 
been charged upon him; and he never was found to torture 
or mutilate his victim, as many of the traditions would indi- 
cate. He was revengeful, because he had suffered deep injury 
at the hands of that race, and woe to the Indian warrior who 
crossed his path. Lewis Wetzel was literally a man without 
fear. He was brave as a lion, cunning as a fox, " daring 
where daring was the wiser part, — prudent when discretion 
was valor's better self." He seemed to possess, in a remark- 
able degree, that intuitive knowledge, which can alone consti- 
tute a good and efficient hunter, added to which, he was 
sagacious, prompt to act, and always aiming to render his 
actions efficient. Such was Lewis Wetzel, the celebrated 
Indian hunter of Western Virginia. 

John Wetzel, the father of Lewis, was one of the first set- 
tlers on Wheeling creek. He had five sons and two daugh- 
ters, whose names were respectively, Martin, Lewis, Jacob, 
John, George, Susan, and Christina. 

The elder Wetzel spent much of his time in locating lands, 
hunting and fishing. His neighbors frequently admonished 
him against exposing himself thus to the enemy; but disre- 
garding their advice, and laughing at their fears, he continued 
to widen the range of his excursions, until finally he fell a 
victim to the active vigilance of the tawny foe. He was 
killed near Captina, in 1787, on his return from Middle 
Island creek, under the following circumstances. Himself 
and companion were in a canoe, paddling slowly near the 
shore, when they were hailed by a party of Indians, and 
ordered to land. This, they of course, refused, when imme- 


diately they were fired upon, and Wetzel shot through the 
body. Feeling himself mortally wounded, he directed his 
companion to lie down in the canoe, while he (Wetzel) so long 
as strength remained, would paddle the frail vessel beyond 
reach of the savages. In this way, he saved the life of his 
friend while his own was ebbing fast. He died soon after 
reaching the shore, at Baker's station, and his humble grave 
can still be seen near the site of that pt-imitive fortress. The 
author, anxious to ascertain with undoubted certainty, the 
date of Wetzel's death, and learning from a reliable source 
that the place of his burial was indicated by a stone inscribed 
with the initials and year, visited the spot in the summer of 
1849. With great difficulty he found the place, and identified 
the grave of the elder Wetzel. A rough stone marks the 
spot, bearing in rude, but perfectly distinct characters, " I. 
W., 1787." 

At the time of his father's death, Lewis was about twenty- 
three years of age, and in common with his brothers, or those 
who were old enough, swore sleepless vengeance against 
the whole Indian race. Terribly did he and they carry that 
resolution into effect. From that time forward, they were 
devoted to the wood ; and an Indian, whether in peace or war, 
at night or by day, was a doomed man in the presence of 
either. The name of Wetzel sent a thrill of horror through 
the heart of the stoutest savage, before whom a more terrible 
image could not be conjured up than one of these relentless 
" long-knives." But to the personal history of Lewis. 

The first event worthy of record in the life of our hero, 
occurred when he was about fourteen years of age. The 
Indians had not been very troublesome in the immediate 
vicinity of his father's, and no great apprehensions were 
felt, as it was during a season of comparative quietude. 
On the occasion referred to, Lewis had just stepped from 
his father's door, and was looking at his brother Jacob 
playing, when suddenly turning toward the corn-crib, he saw 
a gun pointing around the corner. Quick as thought, he 


jumped back, but not in time to escape the ball : it took effect 
upon the breast-bone, carrying away a small portion, and 
cutting a fearful wound athwart the chest. In an instant, 
two athletic warriors sprang from behind the crib, and quietly 
making prisoners of the lads, bore them off without being dis- 
covered. On the second day they reached the Ohio, and 
crossing near the mouth of McMahon's creek, gained the 
big lick, about twenty miles from the river. During the 
whole of this painful march, Lewis suffered severely from his 
wound, but bore up with true courage, knowing, if he com- 
plained, the tomahawk would be his doom. That night, on 
lying down, the Indians, contrary to their custom, failed to 
tie their prisoners. Lewis now resolved to escape ; and in 
the course of an hour or two, satisfying himself that the 
Indians were asleep, touched Jacob, and both arose without 
disturbing their captors. Lewis, leading the way, pushed into 
the woods. Finding, however, that he could not travel with- 
out moccasins, he returned to camp, and soon came back with 
two pair, which, having fitted on, Lewis said, " Now I must 
go back for father's gun."^ Securing this, the two boys started 
in the direction of home. Finding the path, they travelled on 
briskly for some time ; but hearing a noise, listened, and ascer- 
tained the Indians were in pursuit. The lads stepped aside, 
as the pursuers came up, and then again moved on. Soon 
they heard the Indians return, and by the same plan effectually 
eluded them. Before day-light, they were again followed by 
two on horseback, but resorting to a similar expedient, 
readily escaped detection. 

On the following day, about eleven o'clock, the boys 
reached the Ohio, at a point opposite Zane's island. Lashing 
together two logs, they crossed over, and were once more with 
their friends. 

As this sketch will not allow us to notice in full his various 

' The Indians carried off with the boys, a gun belonging to their father, 
Trhich they foimd in the yard. 

348 hunter's life. [Chap, II. 

youthful exploits, we will pass over a series of years, and take 
up the thread of narrative at such points in our hero's perilous 
career, as we may deem most interesting to the reader at 
large. Reaching the years of manhood, this remarkable 
person spent most of his time in the woods. He was truly, a 
genuine child of the forest, and seemed to worship the grand 
old trees with more than Pagan devotion. To him the 
wilderness was full of charms, but the enjoyment of these was 
not without great personal danger. A dark, insidious foe 
prowled upon his track, and closely watched every oppor- 
tunity to waylay and destroy him. Wetzel roamed abroad, 
delighted with every fresh grove, hill, dale, and rippling 
stream. To him the swelling of the breeze, "the repose of 
the leaf, the mysterious quiet of the shade, the chant of birds, 
the whoop of the savage, and the long melancholy howl of the 
wolf," were sights and sounds which stirred his most lively 
sensibilities. Rising from his couch of leaves, by the side of 
some moss-covered log, the lone hunter made his hurried 
meal, and then moved on, careless of fatigue, until night again 
closed around him. Such was the woodman's life ; such the 
fascinations which bound him to the wilderness. 

Shortly after Crawford's defeat, a man named Thomas Mills, 
in escaping from that unfortunate expedition, reached the 
Indian Spring,^ about nine miles from Wheeling, on the present 
National road, where he was compelled to leave his horse, 
and proceed to Wheeling on foot. Thence he went to Van 
Metre's fort, and after a day or two's rest, induced Lewis 
Wetzel to go with him to the spring for his horse. Lewis 
cautioned him against the danger, but Mills was determined, 
and the two started. Approaching the spring, they discovered 
the horse ti§d to a tree, and Wetzel at once comprehended 
their danger. Mills walked up to unfasten the animal, when 
instantly a discharge of rifles followed, and the unfortunate 

' Some writers call this Dunmore's spring, but upon what authority, we 
cannot learn. Lord Dunmore was certainly never at the spot. Why then 
the name ? 


man fell, mortally ■wounded. Wetzel now turned, and know- 
ing his only escape was in flight, plunged through the enemy 
and bounded off at the very extent of his speed. Four 
fleet Indians followed in rapid pursuit, whooping in proud 
exultation of soon overhauling their intended victim. After 
a chase of half a mile, one of the most active savages 
approached so close that Wetzel was afraid he might throw 
his tomahawk, and instantly wheeling, shot the fellow dead 
in his tracks. In early youth, Lewis had acquired the habit 
of loading his gun while at a full run, and now he felt the 
great advantage of it. Keeping in advance of his pursuers 
during another half mile, a second Indian came up, and turn- 
ing to fire, the savage caught the end of his gun, and for a 
time, the contest was doubtful. At one moment the Indian, by 
his great strength and dexterity, brought Wetzel to his knee, 
and had nearly wrenched the rifle from the hands of his 
antagonist, when Lewis, by a renewed effort, drew the weapon 
from the grasp of the savage, and thrusting the muzzle against 
the side of his neck, pulled the trigger, killing him instantly. 

The two other Indians by this time had nearly overtaken 
him, but leaping forward, he kept ahead, until his unerring 
rifle was a third time loaded. Anxious to have done with that 
kind of sport, he slackened his pace, and even stopped once 
or twice, to give his pursuers an opportunity to face him. 
Every time, however, he looked round, the Indians tree'd, 
unwilling any longer to encounter his destructive weapon. 
After running a mile or two further in this manner, he reached 
an open piece of ground, and wheeling suddenly, the foremost 
Indian jumped behind a tree, but which not screening his 
body, Wetzel fired, and dangerously wounded him. The 
remaining Indian made an immediate retreat, yelling, as he 
went, "iVb catch dot man, him gun always loaded.'" Our 
artist has happily caught the spirit of the incident, and very 
well shown it in the accompanying illustration. 

In the summer of 1786, the Indians having become trouble- 


some in the neigliborliood of Wheeling, particularly in the 
Short creek settlement, and a party having killed a man near 
Mingo bottom, it was determined to send an expedition after 
the retreating enemy of sufficient force to chastise them most 
effectually. One hundred dollars were offered to the man 
who should bring in the first Indian scalp. Major McMahon 
living at Beech bottom, headed the expedition, and Lewis 
Wetzel was one of his men. They crossed the river on the 5th 
of August, and proceeded by a rapid march to the Muskingum. 
The expedition numbered about twenty men, and an advance 
of five were detailed to reconnoitre. This party reported to the 
commander that they had discovered the camp of the enemy, 
but that it was far too numerous to think of making an attack. 
A consultation was thereupon held, and an immediate retreat 
determined on. During the conference, our hero sat upon a log, 
with his gun carelessly resting across his knees. The moment 
it was resolved to retreat, most of the party started in disor- 
dered haste, but the commander observing Wetzel still sitting 
on the log, turned to inquire if he was not going along. " No," 
was his sullen reply ; "I came out to hunt Indians, and now 
that they are found, I am not going home, like a fool, with 
my fingers in my mouth. I am determined to take an Indian 
scalp, or lose my own." All arguments were unavailing, and 
there they were compelled to leave him — a lone man, in a 
desolate wilderness, surrounded by an enemy vigilant, cruel, 
blood-thirsty, and of horrid barbarity, with no friend but his 
rifle, and no guide but the sure index which an all-wise Pro- 
vidence has deep set in the heavens above. Once by himself, 
and looking around to feel satisfied that they were all gone, 
he gathered his blanket about him, adjusted his tomahawk 
and scalping knife, shouldered his rifle, and moved off in an 
opposite direction, hoping that a small party of Indians might 
be met with. Keeping away from the larger streams, he 
strolled on cautiously, peering into every dell and suspicious 
covert, and keenly sensitive to the least sound of a suspicious 
character. Nothing, however, crossed his path that day. 


The night being dark and chilly, it was necessary to have a 
fire ; but to show a light in the midst of his enemy would be 
to invite to certain destruction. To avoid this, he constructed 
a small coal-pit out of bark, dried leaves, etc., and covering 
these with loose earth, leaving an occasional air-hole, he 
seated himself, encircling the pit with his legs, and then com- 
pleted the whole by covering his head with the blanket. In 
this manner he would produce a temperature equal, as he 
expressed it, to that of a "stove room." This was, certainly, 
an original and ingenious mode of getting up a fire, without, 
at the same time, endangering himself by a light. 

During most of the following day, he roamed through the 
forest without noticing any "signs" of Indians. At length, 
smoke was discovered, and going in the direction of it, found a 
camp, but tenantless. It contained two blankets and a small 
kettle, which Wetzel at once knew belonged to two Indians, 
who were doubtless out hunting. Concealing himself in the 
matted undergrowth, he patiently awaited the return of the 
occupants. " About sunset, one of the Indians came in and 
made up the fire, and went to cooking his supper. Shortly 
after, the other came in ; they then ate their supper, and 
began to sing and amuse themselves by telling comic stories, 
at which they would burst into roars of laughter. Singing, 
and telling amusing stories, was the common practice of the 
white and red men, when lying in their hunting camps. These 
poor fellows, when enjoying themselves in the utmost glee, 
little dreamed that Lewis Wetzel was so close. About nine or 
ten o'clock, one of the Indians wrapped his blanket around 
him, shouldered his rifle, took a chunk of fire in his hand, and 
left the camp, doubtless, with the intention of going to watch 
a deer-lick. The fire and smoke would serve to keep off the 
gnats and musquitoes. It is a remarkable fact, that deer are 
not alarmed at seeing fire, from the circumstance of meeting it 
so frequently in the fall and winter seasons, when the leaves 
and grass are dry, and the woods on fire. The absence of 
the Indian was a cause of vexation and disappointment to 


our hero, whose trap was so happily set, that he considered 
his game secure. He still indulged the hope, that the Indian 
would return to camp before day, but in this he was disap- 
pointed. There are birds in the woods which commence chirp- 
ing just before break of day ; and like the cock, give notice to 
the woodman that light will soon appear. Lewis heard the 
wooded songsters begin to chatter, and determined to delay no 
longer the work of death, for the return of the other Indian. 
He walked to the camp with a noiseless step, and found his 
victim buried in profound sleep, lying upon one side. He 
drew his butcher-knife, and with the utmost force, impelled by 
revenge, sent the blade through his heart. He said the 
Indian gave a short quiver, a convulsive motion, and then 
laid still in the sleep of death. Lewis scalped him, and set 
out for home. He arrived at the Mingo bottom only one day 
after his unsuccessful companions. He claimed, and as he 
should, received his reward." 

A most fatal decoy on the frontier, was the turkey-call. 
On several diflFerent occasions, men from the fort at Wheeling 
had gone across the hill in quest of a turkey, whose plaintive 
cries had elicited their attention, and on more than one occa- 
sion the men never returned. Wetzel suspected the cause, 
and determined to satisfy himself. On the east side of the 
creek hill, and at a point elevated at least sixty feet above the 
water, there is a capacious cavern, the entrance to which at 
that time was almost obscured by a heavy growth of vines 
and foliage. Into this the alluring savage would crawl, 
and could there have an extensive view of the hill front on the 
opposite side. From that cavern issued the decoy of death 
to more than one incautious soldier and settler. Wetzel knew 
of the existence and exact locality of the cave, and accordingly 
started out before day, and by a circuitous route, reached the 
spot from the rear. Posting himself so as to command a view 
of the opening, he waited patiently for the expected cry. 
Directly the twisted tuft of an Indian warrior slowly rose in 
the mouth of the cave, and looking cautiously about, sent 

1788.] FEARFUL SCENE. 353 

forth the long, shrill, peculiar " cry," and immediately sunk 
back out of view. Lewis screened himself in his position, 
cocked his gun, and anxiously awaited for a re-appearance 
of the head. In a few minutes up rose the tuft, Lewis drew 
a fine aim at the polished head, and the next instant the 
brains of the savage were scattered about the cave. That 
turkey troubled the inhabitants no longer, and tradition does 
not say whether the place was ever after similarly occupied. 
A singular custom with this daring borderer was to take a 
fall hunt into the Indian country. Equipping himself, he set 
out and penetrated to the Muskingum, and fell upon a camp of 
four Indians. Hesitating a moment whether to attack a party 
so much his superior in numerical strength, he determined to 
make the attempt. At the hour of midnight, when naught 
was heard, but the long dismal howl of the wolf, 

" Cruel as death and hungry as the grave, 
Bui-ning for blood, bony, gaunt and grim," 

he moved cautiously from his covert, and gliding through the 
darkness, stealthily approached the camp, supporting his rifle 
in one hand and a tomahawk in the other. A dim flicker 
from the camp-fire faintly revealed the forms of the sleepers, 
wrapped in that profound slumber, which, to part of them, 
was to know no waking. There they lay, with their dark 
faces turned up to the night-sky, in the deep solitude of their 
own wilderness, little dreaming that their most relentless 
enemy was hovering over them. Quietly resting his gun 
against a tree, he unsheathed his knife, and with an intre- 
pidity that could never be surpassed, stepped boldly forward, 
like the minister of Death, and quick as thought cleft the skull 
of one of his sleeping victims. In an instant, a second one 
was similarly served ; and as a third attempted to rise, con- 
fused by the horrid yells with which Wetzel accompanied his 
blows, he, too, shared the fate of his companions, and sunk 
dead at the feet of this ruthless slayer. The fourth darted 
into the darkness of the wood and escaped, although Wetzel 



pursued him some distance. Returning to camp, lie scalped his 
victims, and then left for home. When asked on his return, 
what luck, "Not much," he replied. "I tree'd four Indians, 
but one got away." This unexampled achievement stamped 
him as one of the most daring and, at the same time, successful 
hunters of his day. The distance to and from the scene of this 
adventure could not have been less than one hundred and 
seventy miles. 

During one of his scouts, in the neighborhood of Wheeling, 
our hero took shelter on a stormy evening, in a deserted cabin 
on the bottom, not far from the present residence of Mr. 
Hamilton Woods. Gathering a few broken boards he pre- 
pared a place on the loft to sleep. Scarcely had he got 
himself adjusted for a nap, when six Indians entered, and 
striking a fire, commenced preparing their homely meal. 
Wetzel watched their movements closely, with drawn knife, 
determined, the moment he was discovered, to leap into their 
midst, and in the confusion endeavor to escape. Fortunately, 
they did not see him, and soon after supper the whole six fell 
asleep. Wetzel now crawled noiselessly down, and hid himself 
behind a log, at a convenient distance from the door of the 
cabin. At early dawn, a tall savage stepped from the door, 
and stretching up both hands in a long, hearty yawn, seemed 
to draw in new life from the pure, invigorating atmosphere. 
In an instant, Wetzel had his finger upon the trigger, and the 
next moment the Indian fell heavily to the ground, his life's 
blood gushing upon the young grass brilliant with the morning 
dew drops. The report of his rifle had not ceased echoing 
through the valley ere the daring borderer was far away, 
secure from all pursuit. 

When about twenty-five years of age, Lewis entered the 
service of Gen. Harmar, commanding at Marietta. His new 
duties growing distasteful, he took leave of absence, and 
visited his friends in the neighborhood of Wheeling. Shortly 
afterwards, however, he returned to duty, and was chiefly 
employed in the capacity of scout. It was whilst thus en- 


gaged tliat an affair occurred, which changed the "whole current 
of his life. Of the Indians who visited Marietta, was one of 
some celebrity, known by the name of George Washington. 
He was a large, fine-looking savage, and of much influence 
in his tribe. The time we write of was one of comparative 
peace, and Gen. Harmar was particularly anxious to preserve 
the good feeling then subsisting. Wetzel, during one of his 
scouts, met this Indian and shot him. The act was justly 
regarded as an outrage, and he was accordingly arrested and 
placed in close confinement at the fort. 

" Wetzel admitted, without hesitation, ' that he had shot 
the Indian.' As he did not wish to be hung like a dog, he 
requested the general to give him up to the Indians, as there 
were a large number of them present. ' He might place them 
all in a circle, with their scalping knives and tomahawks — and 
give him a tomahawk, and place him in the midst of the 
circle, and then let him and the Indians fight it out in the 
best way they could.' The general told him, 'That he was 
an officer appointed by the law, by which he must be governed. 
As the law did not authorize him to make such a compromise, 
he could not grant his request.' After a few days longer 
confinement, he again sent for the general to come and see 
him; and he did so. Wetzel said 'he had never been confined, 
and could not live much longer if he was not permitted some 
room to walk about.' The general ordered the officer on 
guard to knock off his iron fetters, but to leave on his hand- 
cuffs, and permit him to walk about on the point at the mouth 
of the Muskingum ; but to be sure to keep a close watch upon 
him. As soon as they were outside of the fort gate, Lewis 
began to caper about like a wild colt broken loose from the 
stall. He would start and run a few yards, as if he were about 
making an escape, then turn round and join the guard. The 
next start he would run farther, and then stop. In this way 
he amused the guard for some time, at every start running a 
little farther. At length he called forth all his strength, 
resolution, and activity, and determined on freedom or an 


early grave. He gave a sudden spring forward, and bounded 
off at the top of his speed for the shelter of his beloved woods. 
His movement was so quick, and so unexpected, that the 
guard were taken by surprise, and he got nearly a hundred 
yards before they recovered from their astonishment. They 
fired, but all missed ; they followed in pursuit, but he soon 
left them out of sight. As he was well acquainted with the 
country, he made for a dense thicket, about two or three miles 
from the fort. In the midst of this thicket he found a tree 
which had fallen across a log, where the brush were very 
close. Under this tree he squeezed his body. The brush 
were so thick, that he could not be discovered unless his 
pursuers examined very closely. As soon as his escape was 
announced, General Harmar started the soldiers and Indians 
in pursuit. After he had lain about two hours in his place of 
concealment, two Indians came into the thicket, and stood on 
the same log under which he lay concealed ; his heart beat so 
violently he was afraid they would hear it thumping. He 
could hear them hallooing in every direction, as they hunted 
through the brush. At length, as the day wore away, Lewis 
found himself alone in the friendly thicket. But what 
should he do ? His hands were fastened with iron cuffs and 
bolts, and he knew of no friend on the same side of the Ohio 
to whom he could apply for assistance. He had a friend who 
had recently put up a cabin on the Virginia side of the Ohio, 
who, he had no doubt, would lend him any assistance in his 
power. With the most gloomy foreboding of the future, a 
little after night-fall, he left the thicket and made his way to 
the Ohio. He came to the river about three or four miles 
below the fort. He took this circuit, as he expected guards 
would be set at every point where he could find a canoe. 
How to get across the river was the all-important question. 
He could not make a raft with his hands bound. He was an 
excellent swimmer, but was fearful he could not swim the 
Ohio with his heavy iron handcuffs. After pausing some time, 
he determined to make the attempt. Nothing worse than 


death could happen ; and he would prefer drowning than again 
falling into the hands of Harmar and his Indians. Like the 
illustrious Caesar in the storm, he would trust the event to 
fortune ; and he plunged into the river. He swam the greater 
part of the distance on his back, and reached the Virginia 
shore in safety ; but so much exhausted that he had to lay on 
the beach some time before he was able to rise. He went to 
the cabin of his friend, where he was received with rapture. 
A file and hammer soon released him from his iron handcuffs." 

Information having reached General Harmar of Wetzel's 
whereabouts, he sent a party of men in a canoe to take him. 
As the boat neared the Virginia shore, Wetzel, with his 
friend, and several other men, posted themselves on the bank 
and threatened to shoot the first man who landed. UnAvilling 
to venture farther, the party returned, and Lewis made his 
way homeward, having been furnished by his kind friend with 
gun, ammunition, tomahawk, blanket, &c. 

Exasperated at the escape of Wetzel, General Harmar 
offered a large reward for his apprehension, and at the same 
time despatched a file of men to the neighborhood of Wheeling, 
with orders to take him dead or alive. The detachment was 
under the command of a Captain Kingsbury, who, hearing that 
Wetzel was to be at Mingo Bottom on a certain day, marched 
thither to execute his orders. We will let an eye-witness finish 
the story : — 

"A company of men could as easily have drawn old Horny 
out of the bottomless pit, as take Lewis Wetzel by force from 
the neighborhood of the Mingo Bottom. On the day that 
Captain Kingsbury arrived, there was a shooting match at 
my father's, and Lewis was there. As soon as the object of 
Captain Kingsbury was ascertained, it was resolved to ambush 
the captain's barge, and kill him and his company. Happily, 
Major McMahon was present, to prevent this catastrophe, and 
prevailed on Wetzel and his friends to suspend the attack till 
he would pay Captain Kingsbury a visit, and perhaps he would 
prevail with him to return without making an attempt to take 


Wetzel. With a great deal of reluctance they agreed to 
suspend the attack till Major McMahon should return. The 
resentment and fury of Wetzel and his friends were boiling 
and blowing, like the steam from a scape-pipe of a steamboat. 
'A pretty affair, this,' said they, 'to hang a man for killing 
an Indian, when they are killing some of our people almost 
every day.' Major McMahon informed Captain Kingsbury 
of the force and fury of the people, and assured him that if 
he persisted in the attempt to seize Wetzel, he would have all 
the settlers in the country upon him ; that nothing could save 
him and his company from a massacre, but a speedy return. 
The captain took his advice, and forthwith returned to Fort 
Harmar. Wetzel considered the aifair now as finally adjusted." 
In this, however, he was mistaken. His roving disposition 
never permitted him to remain long in one place. Soon 
after the transactions just recorded, he descended the river 
to Limestone (Maysville) ; and while there, engaged in his 
harmless frolicking, an avaricious fellow, named Loller, a 
lieutenant in the army, going down the river with a company 
of soldiers for Fort Washington, landed at Maysville, and 
found Wetzel sitting in a tavern. Loller returned to his boat 
procured some soldiers, seized Wetzel, and dragged him 
aboard of the boat, and without a moment's delay pushed off, 
and that night delivered him to General Harmar at Fort 
Washington, where he again had to undergo the ignominy of 
having his hands and feet bound with irons, " The noise of 
Wetzel's capture — and captured, too, for only killing an 
Indian — spread through the country like wild-fire. The pas- 
sions of the frontiermen were roused up to the highest pitch 
of fury. Petitions for his release were sent from the most 
influential men to the general, from every quarter where the 
story had been heard. The general at first paid but little 
attention to these ; at length, however, the settlements along 
the Ohio, and some of the back counties, were preparing to 
embody in military array, to release him by force of arms. 


General Harmar, seeing the storm that was approaching, had 
Wetzel's irons knocked off, and set him at liberty. 

Wetzel was once more a free man. He returned to his 
friends, and was caressed by young and old, with undiminished 
respect. The vast number of scalps which he had taken, proved 
his invincible courage, as well as his prowess in war ; the 
sufferings and persecutions by which he had been pursued by 
General Harmar, secured for him the sympathy of the frontier- 
men. The higher he was esteemed, the lower sank the char- 
acter of General Harmar with the fiery spirits on the frontier." 

Had Harmer possessed a tithe of the courage, skill, and 
indomitable energy of Wetzel, the gallant soldiers under his 
command, in the memorable and disastrous campaign against 
the Miamis, might have shared a very different fate. 

Shortly after his return from Kentucky, a relative from 
Dunkard Creek invited Lewis home with him. The invitation 
was accepted, and the two leisurely wended their way along, 
hunting and sporting as they travelled. On reaching the 
home of the young man, what should they see, instead of the 
hospitable roof, a pile of smoking ruins. Wetzel instantly 
examined the trail, and found that the marauders were three 
Indians and one white man, and that they had taken one 
prisoner. That captive proved to be the betrothed of the 
young man, whom nothing could restrain from pushing on in 
immediate pursuit. Placing himself under the direction of 
Wetzel, the two strode on, hoping to overhaul the enemy before 
they had crossed the Ohio. It was found, after proceeding a 
a short distance, that the savages had taken great care to 
obliterate their trail; but the keen discernment of Wetzel, 
once on the track, and there need not be much difficulty. He 
knew they would make for the river by the most expeditious 
route, and therefore, disregarding their trail, he pushed on, 
so as to head them at the crossing-place. After an hour's 
hard travel, they struck a path, which the deer had made, and 
which their sagacity had taught them to carry over knolls in 
order to avoid the great curves of ravines. Wetzel followed 


the path because he knew it was in almost a direct line to the 
point at which he was aiming. Night coming on, the tireless 
and determined hunters partook of a hurried meal, then again 
pushed forward, guided by the lamps hung in the heavens 
above them, until, towards midnight, a heavy cloud shut out 
their light and obscured the path. Early on the following 
morning, they resumed the chase, and descending from the 
elevated ridge, along which they had been passing for an 
hour or two, found themselves in a deep and quiet valley, 
which looked as though human steps had never before pressed 
its virgin soil. Travelling a short distance, they discovered 
fresh footsteps in the soft sand, and upon close examination, 
the eye of Wetzel's companion detected the impress of a small 
shoe with nail-heads around the heel, which he at once recog- 
nized as belonging to his affianced. Hour after hour the 
pursuit was kept up ; now tracing the trail across hills, over 
alluvion, and often detecting it where the wily captors had taken 
to the beds of streams. Late in the afternoon, they found 
themselves approaching the Ohio, and shortly after dark, 
discovered, as they struck the river, the camp of the enemy 
on the opposite side, and just below the mouth of Captina. 
Swimming the river, the two reconnoitered the position of the 
camp, and discovered the locality of the captive. Wetzel 
proposed waiting until day-light before making the attack, 
but the almost frantic lover was for immediate action. Wetzel, 
however, would listen to no suggestion, and thus they awaited 
the break of day. At early "dawn, the savages were up and 
preparing to leave, when Wetzel directed his companion to 
take good aim at the white renegade, while he would make 
sure work of one of the Indians. They fired at the same 
moment, and with fatal effect. Instantly the young man 
rushed forward to release the captive ; and Wetzel reloading, 
pursued the two Indians, who had taken to the woods, to 
ascertain the strength of the attacking party. Wetzel pur- 
sued a short distance, and then fired his rifle at random, to 
draw the Indians from their retreat. The trick succeeded, 


and they made after him ^Yith uplifted tomahawks, yelling at 
the height of their voices. The adroit hunter soon had his 
rifle loaded, and wheeling suddenly, discharged its contents 
tlirough the body of his nearest pursuer. The other Indian 
now rushed impetuously forward, thinking to dispatch his 
enemy in a moment. Wetzel, however, kept dodging from 
tree to tree, and, being more fleet than the Indian, managed 
to keep ahead until his unerring gun was again loaded, when 
turning, he fired, and the last of the party lay dead before 

Soon after the occurrence just narrated, our hero determined 
to visit the extreme south, and for that purpose engaged on 
a flat-boat about leaving for New Orleans. Many months 
elapsed before his friends heard anything of his whereabouts, 
and then it was to learn that he was in close confinement at 
New Orleans, under some weighty charge. What the exact 
nature of this charge was, has never been fully ascertained, 
but it is very certain he was imprisoned and treated like a 
felon for nearly two years. The charge is supposed to have 
been of some trivial character, and has been justly regarded 
as a great outrage. It was alleged at the time of his arrest, 
to have been for uttering counterfeit coin ; but this being dis- 
proved, it was then charged that he had been guilty of illicit 
connection with the wife of a Spaniard. Of the nature of 
these charges, however, we know but little, and it may there- 
fore be unsafe to say more. He was finally released by the 
intervention of our government, and reached home by way of 
Philadelphia, to which city he ha'd been sent from New Or- 
leans. Mr. Rodefer says he saw him immediately after his 
return, and that his personal appearance had undergone great 
change from his long confinement. He remained but two 
days on Wheeling creek after his return — one at his mother's, 
and the other at Captain Bonnett's, (the father of Mrs. 
Rodefer). Many of the older citizens have told us that they 
saw him during this brief visit, and conversed freely with him 
about the infamous manner he had been treated. Our vene- 


rable friend, Jacob Keller, Esqr., who now owns the old 
Bonnett farm, says he saw him, and gathered many par- 
ticulars of his imprisonment. 

From the settlement he went to Wheeling, where he re- 
mained a few days, and then left again for the south, vowing 
vengeance against the person whom he believed to have been 
accessory to his imprisonment, and in degrading his person with 
the vile rust of a felon's chain. During his visit to Wheeling, 
he remained with George Cookis, a relative. Our informant 
says she met him there, and heard Mrs. Cookis plague him 
about getting married, and jocularly asked whether he ever 
intended to take a wife. "No," he replied, "there is no 
woman in this world for me, but I expect there is one in 

After an absence of many months, he again returned to the 
neighborhood of Wheeling ; but whether he avenged his real 
or imaginary wrongs upon the person of the Spaniard alluded 
to, the biographer, at this time, has not the means of saying. 
His propensity to roam the woods was still as great as ever, 
and soon after his return an incident occurred which showed 
that he had lost none of his cunning while undergoing in- 
carceration at New Orleans. Returning home from a hunt, 
north of the Ohio, somewhat fatigued and a little careless of 
his movements, he suddenly espied an Indian in the very act 
of raising his gun to fire. Both immediately sprung to trees, 
and there they stood for an hour, each afraid of the other. 
What was to be done ? To remain there during the whole day, 
for it was then early in the morning, was out of the question. 
Now it was that the sagacity of Wetzel displayed itself over 
the child-like simplicity of the savage. Cautiously adjusting 
his bear-skin cap to the end of his ram-rod, with the slightest, 
most dubious and hesitating motion, as though afraid to ven- 
ture a glance, the cap protruded. An instant, a crack, and 
off was torn the fatal cap by the sure ball of the ever vigilant 
savage. Leaping from his retreat, our hero rapidly advanced 
upon the astonished Indian, and ere the tomahawk could be 




brought to its work of death, the tawny foe sprang con- 
vulsively into the air, and straightening as he descended, fell 
upon his face quite dead. 

Wetzel was universally regarded as one of the most efficient 
scouts and most practised woodmen of his day. He was fre- 
quently engaged by parties who desired to hunt up and locate 
lands, but were afraid of the Indians. Under the protection 
of Lewis Wetzel, however, they felt safe, and thus he was 
often engaged for months at a time. Of those who became 
largely interested in western lands was John Madison, brother 
of James, afterwards President Madison. He employed Lewis 


"Wetzel to go with him through the Kanawha region. During 
their expedition they came upon a deserted hunter's camp, in 
which were concealed some goods. Each of them helped 
; himself to a hlanket, and that day in crossing little Kanawha 
they were fired upon by a concealed party of Indians, and 
Madison killed. 

General Clark, the companion of Lewis in the celebrated 
tour across the Rocky Mountains, had heard much of Lewis 
Wetzel in Kentucky, and determined to secure his services 
in the perilous enterprise. A messenger was accordingly 
sent for him, but he was reluctant to go. However, he finally 
consented, and accompanied the party during the first three 
months travel, but then declined going any further, and 
returned home. Shortly after this, he left again on a flat- 
boat, and never returned. He visited a relative named 
Phillip Sikes, living about twenty miles in the interior from 
Natchez, and there made his home until the summer of 1808, 
when he died.-^ 

The personal appearance of this distinguished borderer was 
very remarkable. He was five feet ten inches in height, very 
erect, broad across the shoulders, an expansive chest, and 
limbs denoting great muscular strength. His complexion 
was very dark, and eyes of the most intense blackness, wild, 
rolling, and "piercing as the dagger's point;" emitting, when 
excited, such fierce and withering glances, as to cause the 
stoutest adversary to quail beneath their power. His hair 

1 Our informant, the late venerable David M'Intyre, of Belmont county, 
Ohio, one of the most reliable and respectable men in the State, said that he 
met Lewis Wetzel at Natchez, in April, 1808, and remained with him three 
days. That Lewis told him he would visit his friends during the then 
approaching summer — but alas, that visit was never made ! His journey was 
to "that undiscovered country, from whose bourne no traveller returns." 

Many contradictory accounts have been published as to the time and place 
of his death, but our information, we are confident, is correct. Some have 
even declared that he was seen at St. Louis, in 1829. We have examined 
these statements separately, and are firmly convinced, that Mr. M'Intyre's 
information is the most reliable. 

1781.] POE AND BIG-FOOT. 865 

was of raven jetness, and very luxuriant, reaclilng, when 
combed out, below his knees. This would have been a rare 
scalp for the savages, and one for which they would at any 
time have given a dozen of their best warriors. 

When Lewis Wetzel professed friendship, he was as true 
as the needle to the pole. He loved his friends and hated 
their enemies. He was a rude, blunt man, of few words be- 
fore company, but with his friends, not only sociable, but an 
agreeable companion. Such was Lewis Wetzel; his name 
and fame will long survive, when the achievements of men 
vastly his superior in rank and intellect, will slumber with the 
forgotten past. 


A MOST formidable and fearful man was the vanquisher of 
" Big-Foot." Every body has heard of the fight between the 
huge Wyandott chief and Poe, but, unfortunately, the credit 
has always been given to the wrong man. Dr. Doddridge 
started the error ; and every writer upon western history for 
nearly thirty years, has insisted that Adam Poe killed "Big- 
Foot." Unwilling to strip the laurel from the brow of any 
man, but pledged to do justice to all, and give honor where 
honor is due, it now devolves upon us to say that it was not 
"Adam" but Andrew Poe who accomplished the wonderful 
feat we are about to record. 

Of those who settled at an early day on the Ohio, near the 
extreme upper corner of Virginia, were two brothers, Andrew 
and Adam Poe. They were born near the present town of 
Frederick, Maryland, and emigrated to the west in 1774. 
Adam was the elder by some five years ; he lived to the age of 
ninety-three, and died in 1840. 

These brothers were " backwoodsmen" in every sense of the 
word. They were shrewd, active and courageous, and having 
fixed their abodes on the frontier of civilization, determined 


to- contest inch by inch with the savages, their right to the 
soil, and their privilege to live. In appearance they were 
tall, muscular and erect, with features indicating great 
strength of character. Andrew, in the general contour of 
his face, differed somewhat from that of his brother, while the 
freshness of his color indicated a better degree of health than 
the sallow complexion of the other. Both, however, were 
endowed with an unusual degree of strength, and woe to the 
man who dared engage in single combat with either. Early 
in the fall of 1781, there was an occurrence on the Ohio 
which stamped the character of one as a man of no ordinary 
make. The place of combat was near the mouth of Tom- 
linson's run, and about two miles below Yellow creek. A 
few months since we visited the spot, and obtained from a 
member of the family the particulars of that celebrated con- 
flict, which we now give. 

During the summer of 1781,^ the settlements in the region 
indicated, suffered not a little from Indian depredation. At 
length it was ascertained that a party of six warriors had 
crossed the river and committed sundry outrages ; among the 
rest, killing a defenceless old man in his cabin. The people 
became aroused, and it was at once determined to raise a 
force and intercept the retreat of the savages. 

Eight determined spirits at once volunteered, and placing 
themselves under Captain Andrew Poe, as he was then called, 
were ready for action in five minutes' notice. Early on the 
following morning, they found the trail of the enemy, and 
detected among the footprints those of a celebrated chief 
called Big-Foot, who was distinguished for his daring, skill, 
eloquence, and immense size. He stood, literally, like the 
tall man of Tarsus, a head above his peers ; for he is said to 
have been nearly, or quite seven feet in height, and large in 
proportion. The feet of this giant were so large as to gain 

' Doddridge, and all who follow in his wake, place this in the summer of 
1782 ; but 1781, was undoubtedly the year of its occurrence. 


for him the name of Big-Foot. Andrew Poe, delighted at 
the prospect of testing his strength with so renowned a chief, 
urged the pursuit with unabated zeal, until brought within a 
short distance of the enemy. 

" For the last few miles, the trail had led up the southern 
bank of the Ohio, where the footprints in the sand were deep 
and obvious; but when within a few hundred yards of the 
point at which the Indians were in the habit of crossing, it 
suddenly diverged from the stream, and stretched along a 
rocky ridge, forming an obtuse angle with its former direc- 
tion. Here Andrew halted for a moment, and directed his 
brother and the other young men to follow the trail with pro- 
per caution, while he still adhered to the river path, which 
led through a cluster of willows directly to the point where 
he supposed the enemy to lie. Having examined the priming 
of his gun, he crept cautiously through the bushes until he 
had a view of the point of embarcation. Here lay two canoes, 
empty and apparently deserted. Being satisfied, however, 
that the Indians were close at hand, he relaxed nothing of 
his vigilance, and quickly gained a jutting cliff, which hung 
over the canoes. Hearing a low murmur below, he peered 
cautiously over, and beheld the object of his search. The 
gigantic Big-Foot lay below him, in the shade of a willow, 
and was talking in a low, deep tone to another warrior, who 
seemed a mere pigmy by his side. Andrew cautiously drew 
back and cocked his gun. The mark was fair, the distance 
did not exceed twenty feet, and his aim was unerring. Raising 
his rifle slowly and cautiously, he took a steady aim at Big- 
Foot's breast, and drew the trigger. His gun flashed. Both 
Indians sprung to their feet with a deep interjection of sur- 
prise, and for a single second all three stared upon each 
other. This inactivity, however, was soon over. Andrew 
was too much hampered by the bushes to retreat, and setting 
his life upon the cast of the die, sprung over the bush which 
had sheltered him, and summoning all his powers, leaped 
boldly down the precipice, and alighted upon the breast of 


Big-Foot with a shock which bore him to the earth. At the 
moment of contact, Andrew had also thrown his right arm 
around the neck of the smaller Indian, so that all three came 
to the earth together. 

"At that moment, a sharp firing was heard among the 
hushes above, announcing that the other parties were en- 
gaged, but the trio below were too busy to attend to anything 
but themselves. Big-Foot was for an instant stunned by the 
violence of the shock, and Andrew was enabled to keep them 
both down. But the exertion necessary for that purpose was 
so great, that he had no leisure to use his knife. Big-Foot 
quickly recovered, and without attempting to rise, wrapped 
his long arms around Andrew's body, and pressed him to his 
breast with the crushing force of a boa constrictor ! An- 
drew, as we have already remarked, was a powerful man, and 
had seldom encountered his equal; but never had he yet felt 
an embrace like that of Big-Foot. He relaxed his hold of 
the small Indian, who sprung to his feet. Big-Foot then 
ordered him to run for his tomahawk, which lay within ten 
steps, and kill the white man while h6 held him in his arms. 
Andrew, seeing his danger, struggled manfully to extricate 
himself from the folds of the giant, but in vain. The lesser 
Indian approached with his uplifted tomahawk, but Andrew 
watched him closely, and as he was about to strike, gave him 
a kick so sudden and violent, as to knock the tomahawk from 
his hand, and send him staggering back into the water. Big- 
Foot uttered an exclamation in a tone of deep contempt at 
the failure of his companion, and raising his voice to its 
highest pitch, thundered out several words in the Indian 
tongue, which Andrew could not understand, but supposed to 
be a direction for a second attack. The lesser Indian now 
again approached, carefully shunning Andrew's heels, and 
making many motions with his tomahawk, in order to deceive 
him as to the point where the blow would fall. This lasted 
for several seconds, until a thundering exclamation from Big- 
Foot compelled his companion to strike. Such was Andrew's 


dexterity and vigilance, however, that he managed to receive 
the tomahawk in a glancing direction upon his left wrist, 
wounding him deeply, but not disabling him. He now made 
a sudden and desperate effort to free himself from the arms 
of the giant, and succeeded. Instantly snatching up a rifle, 
(for the Indian could not venture to shoot, for fear of hurt- 
ing his companion,) he shot the lesser Indian through the 
body. But scarcely had he done so, when Big Foot arose, 
and placing one hand upon his shoulder, and the other upon 
his leg, threw him violently upon the ground. Before his 
antagonist could spring upon him, he was again upon his feet, 
and stung with rage at the idea of being handled so easily, he 
attacked his gigantic antagonist with a fury which, for a time, 
compensated for inferiority of strength. It was now a fair 
fist fight between them, for in the hurry of the struggle, 
neither had leisure to draw their knives. Andrew's superior 
activity and experience as a pugilist, gave him great advan- 
tage. The Indian struck awkwardly, and finding himself 
rapidly dropping to the leeward, he closed in with his antago- 
nist, and again hurled him to the ground. They quickly 
rolled into the river, and the struggle continued with unabated 
fury, each attempting to drown the other. The Indian being 
unused to such violent exertion, and having been much injured 
by the first shock in his stomach, was unable to exert the 
same powers which had given him such a decided superiority 
at first — and Andrew seizing him by the scalp-lock, put his 
head under water, and held it there, until the faint struggle 
of the Indian induced him to believe that he was drowned, 
when he relaxed his hold, and attempted to draw his knife. 
The Indian, however, to use Andrew's own expression, ' had 
only been possoming !' He instantly regained his feet, and 
in his turn, put his adversary under. 

" In the struggle, both were carried out into the current be- 
yond their depth and each was compelled to relax his hold 
and swim for his life. There was still one loaded rifle upon 
the shore, and each swam hard in order to reach it, but the 



Indian proved the most expert swimmer, and Andrew seeing 
that he should be too late, turned and swam out into the stream, 
intending to dive and thus frustrate his enemy's intention. At 
this instant, Adam having heard that his brother was alone in 
a struggle with two Indians, and in great danger, ran up hastily 
to the edge of the bank above, in order to assist him. Another 
white man followed him closely, and seeing Andrew in the 
river, covered with blood, and swimming rapidly from shore, 
mistook him for an Indian, and fired upon him, wounding him 
dangerously in the left shoulder. Andrew turned, and seeing 
his brother called loudly to him to ' shoot the Indian upon the 
shore.' Adam's gun, however, was empty, having just been 
discharged. Fortunately, Big-Foot had also seized the gun 
with which Andrew had shot the lesser Indian, so that both 
were upon an equality. The contest now was who should beat 
loading, the Indian exclaiming, ' Who load first, shoot first !' 
Big-Foot got his powder down first, but in the excitement of 
drawing the ramrod out, it slipped through his fingers and fell 
in the river. The noble savage now feeling that all was over, 
faced his foe, pulled open the bosom of his shirt, and the next 
instant received the ball of his adversary fair in his breast. 
Aclam alarmed for his brother, who was scarcely able to 
swim, threw down his gun and rushed into the river, in order 
to bring him ashore — but Andrew more intent upon securing 
the scalp of Big-Foot as a trophy, than upon his own safety, 
called loudly upon his brother to leave him alone, and scalp 
the big Indian, who was endeavoring to roll himself into the 
water, from a romantic desire, peculiar to the Indian warrior, 
of securing his scalp from the enemy. Adam, however, 
refused to obey, and insisted upon saving the living, before 
attending to the dead. Big Foot, in the meantime, had suc- 
ceeded in reaching the deep water before he expired, and his 
body was borne off by the waves, without being stripped of 
the ornament and pride of an Indian warrior." 

The death of Big-Foot was a severe blow to his tribe, and 
is said to have thrown them all into mourning. He was an 
able and noble chief, and often rendered signal service to the 

1781.] A BOLD ACT. 371 

whites by reclaiming prisoners from tlie stake, and otherwise 
averting the doom which his tribe seemed determined to visit 
upon their captives. 

Poe recovered from his wounds, and lived until within about 
twenty years. We have recently seen a gentleman, who often 
witnessed Poe go through the "fight," and he declares the 
scene was the most thrilling he ever beheld. He says the old 
man would enter into the spirit of the conflict, and with di- 
lated pupil, contracted muscle, and almost choaked with 
foaming saliva, go through every motion and distinct feature 
of that terrible fight. He describes the appearance of these 
pantomime exhibitions as most painfully interesting, and de- 
clares, that the old man would be as much exhausted after 
the performance as though the scene had been actual. 

Andrew Poe was certainly an extraordinary man, and the 
impress of his character is still visible in the region where he 
lived. An incident is related as occurring shortly before his 
death, which strongly marked the character of the man. 
Among his cattle, was a fierce and powerful young bull, en- 
dangering the life of any one who went near him. Poe, 
however, then a man of advanced age, would visit his stock- 
yard, regardless of the animal in question, until he supposed 
it knew him. On one occasion, the refractory animal made 
at Poe, and before he could get out of reach, received a 
severe wound from one of its horns. So exasperated was 
this singular man, that he went at once to his house, armed 
himself with a tomahawk, and, despite the entreaties of his 
family, returned to the yard, and driving all the cattle out 
but the one alluded to, faced it, and with a menacing scowl, 
laid hold of the right horn. The animal plunged, and attempted 
to break loose, but Poe held on, and at every favorable oppor- 
tunity, struck him with the pipe end of his tomahawk. In 
this way, he repeated his blows until finally the animal sunk 
dead at his feet. 

Mr. Poe, during his whole life, was a most active and use- 
ful man. He lived about one mile from Hookstown, Pa., 
where many of his descendants still reside. 




The fate of this unfortunate officer has excited, and will 
continue to excite, so long as the history of the west shall be 
read, the most painful interest and the liveliest sympathy. 
We do not propose at this time to give a lengthy sketch of 
his life and services, but simply to notice a few points in his 
personal history. 

Col. Crawford was a native of Berkeley county, Virginia. 
He was born in 1732 — a year memorable as giving birth to 
Washington and Marion. He early gave promise of much 
talent and energy of character. At the age of twenty-six, 
he raised a company, and joined Washington's regiment in 
the expedition of Gen. Forbes against Fort DuQuesne. His 
fine military bearing at that time attracted the attention and 
commanded the esteem of Washington. On the breaking out 
of the Revolution, by his own indomitable energy, he enrolled 
a regiment, and received, in consideration of his great per- 
sonal effort, a colonel's commission in the Colonial army. 

His first visit to the west was in 1767, and two years after, 
he removed his family. The place selected for his home was 
on the Youghiogheny river, where the town of Connells- 
ville, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, now stands. His house 
was one of the first in the valley of the Youghiogheny, and 
it was always open to those who thought proper to give him a 
call. His hospitality, generosity, and uniform kindness were 
subjects of general remark. Of those who early shared the 
hospitalities of his roof, was Washington. We find by his 
journal of a tour to the west in 1770, frequent reference to 
Col. Crawford, who proved one of his most devoted friends. 

1770.] AN EARLY SURVEYOR. 373 

He seems to have enjoyed himself finely, and passed the time 
most pleasantly. A sister of the gallant colonel commanded 
not a little of the distinguished guest's attention, and were we 
disposed, now that Time has flung his many colored veil over 
all, could call upon Fancy with her pallette and brush, and 
paint a scene in that western cabin, but our limits forbid. 

During this visit of Washington, he remained several days, 
and then, accompanied by Col. Crawford, proceeded to Fort 
Pitt, thence in company with others to the Great Kanawha, 
and after a pretty thorough exploration, returned to the Youg- 
hiogheny. Most of the lands belonging to Washington in 
the west were located by Col. Crawford. We have frequently 
heard the old surveyors along the Ohio say that they often 
met with his " corners." Some of the earliest surveys within 
the present limits of Brooke, Ohio, and Marshall counties, 
Virginia, were made by Colonel C.-^ We sincerely regret the 
scarcity of material for a suitable memoir of this meritorious, 
but most unfortunate officer. His papers and records were 
never preserved ; his family became scattered ; "most of his 
contemporaries have followed him to the land of spirits, and 
very little else than a few brief stories remain to tell of his 
virtues and his fame." Passing over many of his years of 
usefulness to the west, we come to the fearful catastrophe. 
Colonel Crawford had frequently led expeditions against the 
Indians, but on the occasion of which we are about to speak, 
he, at first, absolutely declined to go. It seemed as though 
he had a presentiment of the fate which was to befall him. At 
length, however, he yielded to the importunities of his friends, 
and accompanied the men to the place of rendezvous. It is even 
asserted that after his selection as commander, he was reluc- 

* The fees in those days rendered the business of surveying rather desir- 
able. According to a deposition now in our possession, concerning some 
disputed land on Middle Island creek, claimed by a man named Larue, the 
deponent says, that Larue told him in reply to the question, whether the 
survey had been man by Colonel Crawford, "No," but that he (L.) had engaged 
his services, and was to give one-fourth of the land so soon as the survey 
could be completed. Col. Crawford had made arrangements to meet Larue 
during the same fall he met his terrible fate. 


tant to accept. Having noticed elsewhere the progress of the 
army, and its disastrous defeat, it now alone remains to finish 
the sad story by giving the particulars of the terrible death 
of its commanding officer. As these have been most faith- 
tully narrated by Dr. Knight, the fellow-prisoner of Colonel 
Crawford, and an eye-witness to the whole terrible scene, we 
will follow his account. A retreat having been determined 
on, the whole army moved off in the silence of the night, 
hoping thereby to avoid pursuit. But the ever vigilant 
enemy noticed the movement, and instantly pursuit was 

" We had not got a quarter of a mile from the field of action, 
when I heard Col. Crawford calling for his son John, his son- 
in-law Major Harrison, Major Eose and William Crawford, 
his nephews, upon which I came up and told him I believed 
they were before us. He asked, ' Is that the doctor ?' I told 
him it was. He then replied, that they were not in front, and 
begged of me not to leave him ; I promised him I would not. 

"We then waited, and continued calling for these men 
till the troops had passed us. The colonel told me his horse 
had almost given out, that he could not keep up with the 
troops, and wished some of his best friends to remain with 
him : he then exclaimed against the militia for riding off in 
such an irregular manner, and leaving some of the wounded 
behind, contrary to his orders. Presently there came two 
men riding after us, one of them an old man, the other a lad. 
We inquired if they had seen any of the above persons, and 
they answered they had not. 

" By this time there was a very hot firing before us, and, as 
we judged, near where our main body must have been. Our 
course was then nearly south-west, but changing it, we went 
north about two miles, the two men remaining in company 
with us. Judging ourselves to be now out of the enemy's 
lines, we took a due east course, taking care to keep at the 
distance of fifteen or twenty yards apart, and directing our- 
selves by the north star. 

" About day-break Col. Crawford's and the young man's 

1782.] SAVAGES PURSUE HIM. • 375 

horses gave out, and they left them. We pursued our journey 
eastward, and about two o'clock fell in with Capt. Biggs, 
who had carried Lieut. Ashly from the field of action, who had 
been dangerously wounded. We then went on about the 
space of an hour, when a heavy rain coming up, we con- 
cluded it was best to encamp, as we were encumbered with the 
wounded officer. We then barked four or five trees, made 
an encampment and a fire, and remained there all night. 
Next morning we again prosecuted our journey, and having 
gone about three miles found a deer which had been recently 
killed. The meat was sliced from the bones and bundled up 
in the skin with a tomahawk lying by it. We carried all with 
us, and in advancing about one mile further, espied the smoke 
of a fire. We then gave the wounded officer into the charge 
of the young man, desiring him to stay behind, whilst the 
colonel, the captain and myself, walked up as cautiously as we 
could toward the fire. When we came to it, we concluded, 
from several circumstances, some of our people had encamped 
there the preceding night. We then went about roasting the 
venison, and when just about to march, observed one of our 
men coming upon our tracks. He seemed at first very shy, 
but having called to him he came up and told us he was the 
person who had killed the deer, but upon hearing us come up, 
was afraid of Indians, hid in a thicket, and made off. Upon 
this we gave him some bread and roasted venison, proceeded 
together on our journey, and about two o'clock came upon the 
paths by which we had gone out. Capt. Biggs and myself 
did not think it safe to keep the road, but the colonel said the 
Indians would not follow the troops farther than the plains, 
which we were then considerably past. As the wounded 
officer rode Capt. Biggs' horse, I lent the captain mine ; the 
colonel and myself went about one hundred yards in front, 
the captain and the wounded officer in the centre, and the 
two young men behind. After we had travelled about one 
mile and a half, several Indians started up within fifteen or 
twenty steps of the colonel and I. As we at first discovered 

376 CAPTIVITY. [Chap. III. 

only three, I immediately got behind a large black oak, made 
ready my piece and raised it up to take sight, when the 
colonel called to me twice not to fire ; upon that one of the 
Indians ran up to the colonel and took him by the hand. The 
colonel then told me to put down my gun, which I did. At that 
instant one of them came up to me, whom I had formerly 
seen very often, calling me doctor, and took me by the hand. 
They were Delaware Indians of the Wingenim tribe. Capt. 
Biggs fired amongst them, but did no execution. They then 
told us, to call these people and make them come there, else 
they would go and kill them, which the colonel did, but they 
four got off and escaped for that time. The colonel and I 
were then taken to the Indian camp, which was about half a 
mile from the place where we were captured. On Sunday 
evening, five Delawares, who had posted themselves at some 
distance further on the road, brought back to the camp, where 
we lay, Capt. Biggs and Lieut. Ashly's scalps, with an Indian 
scalp which Capt. Biggs had taken in the field of action : they 
also brought in Biggs' horse and mine ; they told us the two 
other men got away from them. 

"Monday morning, the tenth of June, we were paraded to 
march to Sandusky, about thirty-three miles distant ; they 
had eleven prisoners of us and four scalps, the Indians being 
seventeen in number. 

" Colonel Crawford was very desirous to see a certain Simon 
Girty, who lived among the Indians, and was on this account 
permitted to go to town the same night, with two warriors 
to guard him, having orders at the same time to pass by the 
place where the colonel had turned out his horse, that they 
might, if possible, find him. The rest of us were taken as 
far as the old town, which was within eight miles of the new. 

" Tuesday Morning, the eleventh. Colonel Crawford was 
brought out to us on purpose to be marched in with the 
other prisoners. I asked the colonel if he had seen Mr. 
Girty ? He told me he had, and that Girty had promised 
to do everything in his power for him, but that the Indians 


were very much enraged against the prisoners, particularly 
Captain Pipe, one of the chiefs ; he likewise told me that 
Girty had informed him that his son-in-law, Colonel Harrison, 
and his nephew, William Crawford, were made prisoners by 
the Shawanese, but had been pardoned. This Captain Pipe 
had come from the towns about an hour before Colonel 
Crawford, and had painted all the prisoners' faces black. 

"As he was painting me, he told me I should go to the 
Shawanese towns and see my friends. When the colonel 
arrived he painted him black also, told him he was glad to 
see him, and that he would have him shaved when he came 
to see his friends at the Wyandot town. When we marched, 
the colonel and I were kept between Pipe and Wyngenim, 
the two Delaware chiefs, the other nine prisoners were sent 
forward with a party of Indians. As we went along we 
saw four of the prisoners lying by the path tomahawked 
and scalped, some of them were at the distance of half a 
mile from each other. When we arrived within half a mile 
of the place where the colonel was executed, we overtook 
the five prisoners that remained alive ; the Indians had 
caused them to sit down on the ground, as they did, also 
the colonel and myself, at some distance from them ; I was 
there given in charge to an Indian fellow to be taken to the 
Shawanese towns. 

" In the place where we were now made to sit down, there 
was a number of squaws and boys, who fell on the five 
prisoners and tomahawked them. There was a certain John 
McKinley amonst the prisoners, formerly an officer in the 
13th Virginia Regiment, whose head an old squaw cut ofi", 
and the Indians kicked it about upon the ground. The young 
Indian fellows came often where the colonel and I were, and 
dashed the scalps in our faces. We were then conducted along 
toward the place where the colonel was afterwards executed. 
When we came within half a mile of it, Simon Girty met us, 
with several Indians on horseback ; he spoke to the colonel, 


but as I was about one hundred and fifty yards behind, could 
not hear what passed between them. 

" Almost every Indian we met struck us either with sticks 
or their fists. Girty waited till I was brought up, and then 
asked, Was that the doctor ? I answered him Yes, and went 
towards him, reaching out my hand, but he bid me begone, 
and called me a damned rascal ; upon which the fellow who 
had me in charge, pulled me along. Girty rode up after me 
and told me I was to go to the Shawanese towns. 

"When we came to the fire, the colonel was stripped 
naked, ordered to sit down by the fire, and then they beat 
him with sticks and their fists. Presently after, I was treated 
in the same manner. They then tied a rope to the foot of a 
post about fifteen feet high, bound the colonel's hands behind 
his back, and fastened the rope to the ligature between his 
wrists. The rope was long enough either for him to sit down 
or to walk round the post once or twice and return the same 
way. The colonel then called to Girty, and asked if they 
intended to burn him ? Girty answered. Yes. The colonel 
said he would take it all patiently. Upon this, Captain 
Pipe, a Delaware chief, made a speech to the Indians, 
consisting of about thirty or forty men, and sixty or seventy 
squaws and boys. 

" When the speech was finished, they all yelled a hideous 
and hearty assent to what had been said. The Indian men 
then took up their guns and shot powder into the colonel's 
body, from his feet as far up as his neck. I think not less 
than seventy loads were discharged upon his naked body. 
They then crowded about him, and to the best of my obser- 
vation, cut off his ears: when the throng had dispersed a 
little, I saw the blood running from both sides of his head in 
consequence thereof. 

" The fire was about six or seven yards from the post to 
which the colonel was tied ; it was made of small hickory 
poles, burnt quite through in the middle, each end of the 

1782.] HORRID SCENE. 379 

poles remaining about six feet in length. Three or four 
Indians, by turns, would take up, individually, one of these 
burning pieces of wood and apply it to his naked body, 
already burned black with the powder. These tormentors 
presented themselves on every side of him, so that which 
ever way he ran round the post they met him with the 
burning fagots and poles. Some of the squaws took broad 
boards, upon which they would put a quantity of burning 
coals and hot embers and throw them on him, so that in 
a short time he had nothing but coals of fire and hot ashes 
to walk upon. 

"In the midst of these extreme tortures he called to Simon 
Girty, and begged of him to shoot him: but Girty making 
no answer, he called to him again. Girty then, by way of 
derision, told the colonel he had no gun, at the same time 
turning about to an Indian who was behind him, laughed 
heartily, and by all his gestures seemed delighted at the 
horrid scene. 

" Girty then came up to me and bade me prepare for death. 
He said, however, I was not to die at that place, but to be 
burnt at the Shawanese towns. He swore by G — d I need 
not expect to escape death, but should suffer it in all its 

" Colonel Crawford at this period of his suffering, besought 
the Almighty to have mercy on his soul, spoke very low, 
and bore his torments with the most manly fortitude. He 
continued in all the extremities of pain for an hour and three 
quarters or two hours longer, as near as I can judge, when 
at last being almost spent, he lay down on his belly ; they 
then scalped him and repeatedly threw the scalp in my face, 
telling me ' That was my great captain's.' An old squaw 
(whose appearance every way answered the ideas people 
entertain of the devil) got a board, took a parcel of coals 
and ashes and laid them on his back and head after he had 
been scalped ; he then raised himself upon his feet and began 
to walk round the post; they next put a burning stick to 


him as usual, but lie seemed more insensible of pain than 

Colonel Crawford was about fifty years of age, when he 
suffered at the stake. His son-in-law and nephew^ were 
executed about the same time ; John escaped. What became 
of the other members of his family cannot satisfactorily be 
ascertained. A daughter was raised by Colonel Shepherd, of 
Wheeling creek, and married a Mr. Thornburg. At her mar- 
riage, Col. S. gave her one hundred acres of land, lying near 
the present town of Triadelphia. 

The death of Col. Crawford cast a gloom over the whole 
west, and cannot be contemplated, at this late day, without 
an involuntary shudder. 


Of the many brave spirits who started into existence at 
the first drum-tap of the Revolution, but few have become 
better known, or more respected in the west, than the gallant 
Brady, captain of the spies. 

At a very early age, this devoted partizan gave indications 
of future usefulness ; exhibiting in all his movements a spirit 
and a purpose to do and dare, which marked him as a man 
of no ordinary character, and proved him fit for almost any 

Brady was emphatically the Marion of the rrest. Like the 
Chevalier Bayard, he was "without fear and without re- 
proach." A bolder or braver man never drew a sword or 
fired a rifle; and these marked elements of his nature ren- 
dered him the terror of the Indian warrior, whether on the 
scout or in the wigwam, for he felt himself alike insecure from 
the noiseless vengeance of the " leader of the spies." No man 
stood higher in the esteem of the hardy settlers, and no name 

* This was the son of Valentine Crawford, an only brother of the Colonel. 


could inspire more of confidence and of safety, than that of 
Samuel Brady. During the whole of the fierce, protracted, 
and sanguinary war which ravaged the frontier settlements 
of Virginia and Pennsylvania, from 1785 to 1794, no man 
could so quiet the trembling and fear-stricken settlers as 
Captain Brady. His presence, backed by the band of de- 
voted followers who always stepped in his footprints, was felt 
as security everywhere. The fond mother, who in after years 
related to her children the many thrilling incidents of frontier 
life which she witnessed and passed through, never failed, as 
she thanked her Heavenly Father for having protected her 
little innocents from the scalping-knife and tomahawk, to 
express her heartfelt gratitude to him who had been the in- 
strumentality of saving her all from savage barbarity. 

Devoted as this man was to the interests of the west, and 
sacrificing as he did, almost everything but life, it is a burn- 
ing shame that his memory should have been so long ne- 
glected, and that some public recognition of his services has 
not been made. It is a reflection upon our gratitude and 
patriotism, that while whole galleries are to be found of men 
whose services in behalf of their country were not to be com- 
pared with those of Brady, live upon canvas and in marble, 
not one single bust or portrait of the gallant leader of the 
spies is anywhere to be found. And what is still worse, his 
remains lie in an humble burial ground without even a stone, 
bearing the most simple inscription to mark the spot from the 
undistinguished mass around. 

Samuel Brady was born at Shippensburgh, Pennsylvania, 
in 1756.'^ His father, John Brady, was made a captain in the 
Colonial army, for his services in the old French and Indian 
wars. The family, at an early day, moved to the Susque- 
hanna. On the breaking out of the Revolution, Samuel 
joined a volunteer company, and marched to Boston. The 

' In most, or perhaps all, of the published accounts heretofore given of 
Captain Brady, the date has been stated as 1758 ; but a family record recently 
recovered, places it in 1756. The record is in the handwriting of his father. 


patriotic fervor of tlie youth, prompted tlie commander to 
offer young Brady a commission; but his father objected, 
thinking he was too young, saying, " First let him learn the 
duties of a soldier, and then he will better know how to act 
as an officer." 

" In 1776, Samuel Brady was appointed a first lieutenant.^ 
He continued with the army, and was in all the principal 
engagements until after the battle of Monmouth, when he 
was promoted to a captaincy, and ordered to the west under 
Colonel Brodhead. On their march, he had leave to visit his 
friends in Northumberland county. His father, in 1776, 
had accepted a captaincy in the 12th Pennsylvania regiment, 
been badly wounded at the battle of Brandywine, and was 
then at home. Whilst there, he heard of his brother's death, 
who had been murdered by the Indians on the 9th of August, 
1778. He remained at home until 1779, and then rejoined 
his regiment at Pittsburgh. During the same year, his father 
was murdered by the Indians ; and then it was that our hero 
swore vengeance against the whole race. Terribly, too, did 
he keep that vow." 

In 1781, the Indians became very troublesome in the set- 
tlements above Pittsburgh. Washington, as we have else- 
where noticed, knew very well that the only guaranty of 
safety was to strike the enemy at home. With this view, he 
directed Colonel Brodhead to send some suitable person to 
their towns, who could ascertain their strength, resources, 
etc. Colonel Brodhead's keen military eye saw in Brady the 
very man for the service, and giving him the necessary in- 
structions, the gallant soldier started on his perilous mission, 
accompanied by John Williamson and one of the Wetzels. 
These men were so completely disguised as Indians, that it 
would almost have defied the skill and cunning of a genuine 
chief to detect the deception. After a hurried march, they 

' His commissions bear date as follows : Lieutenant, July 17, 1776 ; Bvt. 
Captain, U. S. A., September 1779; Captain, February 28, 1782. Signed 
by John Hanson, President of Congress. 


reached the Indian town at Upper Sandusky, shortly after 
dark. Brady posted his men, then entered the town, and 
after a thorough reconnoitre rejoined his companions, and 
commenced a rapid retreat. His keen eye had caught a lurk- 
ing suspicion in some of those whom he met, and it was deemed 
important to get beyond their reach as rapidly as possible. 
With scarcely a moment's intermission, the three travelled all 
night, and stopping a few minutes in the morning, discovered 
the Indians were in pursuit. Increasing their movements, 
and adopting the precaution of travelling upon logs and 
avoiding direct routes, the trio were soon beyond immediate 
danger. The remainder of that day, all of that night, and 
part of the third day, passed without any cause of apprehen- 
sion. Fatigued and hungry, (their sole diet since leaving 
home having been parched corn and jerked venison) the party 
concluded to take a rest. Williamson stood guard while the 
others slept. Brady, at all times a great snorer, on this occa- 
sion gave vent to sounds, that, in the language of William- 
son, " were enough to alarm all the Indians between here and 
Sandusky." Thinking a change of position might stop the 
nasal artillery, Williamson turned Brady, and then resumed 
his seat by the fire. Scarcely had he seated himself, when he 
detected the stealthy tread of a savage. Looking attentively 
in the direction of the sound, he saw an Indian cautiously 
approach, and waiting until he came nearly up, the guard took 
steady aim and fired. One convulsive spring, a heavy fall, 
and deep groan, were all that could be seen or heard. His 
companions sprang to their feet and moved rapidly ofi", to 
avoid an attack ; but this was the only Indian, and the 
three travelled on without further attempt at molestation. 
According to the account furnished by one of the family, of 
which we shall have occasion frequently to avail ourselves 
during this notice, — 

" The map furnished by General Brodhead was found to 
be defective. The distance was represented to be much less 
than it really was. The provisions and ammunition of the 


men were exhausted by the time they had reached the Big 
Beaver, on their return. Brady shot an otter, but could not 
eat it. The last load was in his rifle. They arrived at an 
old encampment, and found plenty of strawberries, which they 
stopped to appease their hunger with. Having discovered a 
deer-track, Brady followed it, telling the men he would per- 
haps get a shot at it. He had gone but a few rods when he 
saw the deer standing broadside to him. He raised his rifle 
and attempted to fire, but it flashed in the pan. He sat down, 
picked the touch-hole, and then started on. After going a 
short distance the path made a bend, and he saw before him 
a large Indian on horseback, with a child before and its 
mother behind, and a number of warriors marching in the 
rear. His first impulse was to shoot the Indian on horseback, 
but as he raised the rifle he observed the child's head to roll 
with the motion of the horse. It was fast asleep, and tied to the 
Indian. He stepped behind the root of a tree, and waited 
until he could shoot the Indian, without danger to the child 
or its mother. 

" When he considered the chance certain, he fired, and the 
Indian, child, and mother, all fell from the horse. Brady 
called to his men, with a voice that made the forest ring, to 
surround the Indians, and give them a general fire. He 
sprung to the fallen Indian's powder horn, but could not pull 
it ofi". Being dressed like an Indian, the woman thought he 
was one, and said 'Why did you shoot your brother?' He 
caught up the child, saying, 'Jenny Stoop, I am Captain 
Brady; follow me, and I will secure you and your child.' 
He caught her hand in his, carrying the child under the other 
arm, and dashed into the brush. Many guns were fired at 
him, but no ball touched, and the Indians, dreading an ambus- 
cade, were glad to make ofi". The next day he arrived at Fort 
M'Intosh, with the woman and her child. His men had got 
there before him. They had heard his war-whoop, and knew 
they were Indians he had encountered, but having no ammu- 
nition, had taken to their heels and run off"." 


" The incursions of the Indians had become so frequent, 
and their outrages so alarming, that it was thought advisable 
to retaliate upon them the injuries of war, and carry into the 
country occupied by them, the same system with which they 
had visited the settlements. For this purpose an adequate 
force was provided, under the immediate command of General 
Brodhead, the command of the advance guard of which was 
confided to Captain Brady. 

" The troops proceeded up the Alleghany river, and had 
arrived near the mouth of Redbank creek, now known by the 
name of Brady's Bend, without encountering an enemy. 
Brady and his Rangers were some distance in front of the 
main body, as their duty required, when they suddenly dis- 
covered a war party of Indians approaching them. Relying 
on the strength of the main body, and its ability to force the 
Indians to retreat, and anticipating, as Napoleon did in the 
battle with the Mamelukes, that when driven back they would 
return by the same route they had advanced on, Brady per- 
mitted them to proceed without hindrance, and hastened to 
seize a narrow pass, higher up the river ; where the rocks, 
nearly perpendicular, approached the river, and a few deter- 
mined men might successfully combat superior numbers." 

In a short time the Indians encountered the main body 
under Brodhead, and were driven back. In full and swift 
retreat they pressed on to gain the pass between the rocks 
and the river, but it was occupied by Brady and his Rangers, 
who failed not to pour into their flying columns a most destruc- 
tive fire. Many were killed on the bank, and many more in 
the stream. Cornplanter, afterwards the distinguished chief of 
the Senecas, but then a young man, saved himself by swim- 
ming. The celebrated war-chief of this tribe, Bald-Eagle, 
was of the number slain on this occasion. 

" The army moved onward, and after destroying all the 
Indians' corn, and ravaging the Kenjua fl.ats, returned to 

" Shortly after Captain Brady's return from Sandusky, he 



was observed one evening by a man of the name of Phouts, 
sitting in a solitary part of the fort, apparently absorbed in 
thought. Phouts approached him, pained to the bottom of 
his honest heart to perceive that the countenance of Brady 
bore traces of care and melancholy. He accosted him, how- 
ever, in the best English he had, and soothingly said, ' Gabtain, 
was ails you?' Brady looked at him a short time without 
speaking ; then resuming his usual equanimity, replied, ' I 
have been thinking about the red skins, and it is my opinion 
there are some above us on the river. I have a mind to pay 
them a vist. Now, if I get permission from the general to do 
so, will you go along ?' Phouts was a stout thick Dutchman of 
uncommon strength and activity. He was also well acquainted 
with the woods. When Brady had ceased speaking, Phouts 
raised himself on tiptoe, and bringing his heels hard down on 
the ground, by way of emphasis, his eyes full of fire, said, 
'By dunder und lightnin, I would rader go mit you, Gabtain, 
as to any of te finest weddins in tis guntry.' Brady told him 
to keep quiet, and say nothing about it, as no man in the fort 
must know any thing of the expedition but General Brodhead. 
Bidding Phouts call at his tent in an hour, he then went 
to the general's quarters, whom he found reading. After the 
usual topics were discussed, Brady proposed for consideration, 
his project of ascending the Alleghany, with but one man 
in company ; stating his reasons for apprehending a descent 
from that quarter by the Indians. The general gave his 
consent, at parting took him by the hand in a friendly manner, 
advising him how to proceed, and charging him particularly 
to be careful of his own life, and that of the men or man 
whom he might select to accompany him. So affectionate were 
the general's admonitions, and so great the emotion he dis- 
played, that Brady left him with tears in his eyes, and repaired 
to his tent, where he found Phouts deep in conversation with 
one of his pet Indians. 

"Ho told Phouts of his success with the general, and that, 
as it was early in the light of the moon, they must get ready 
and be off betimes. 


" They immediately set about cleaning their guns, prepar- 
ing their ammunition, and having secured a small quantity of 
salt, lay down together, and slept soundly until about two 
hours before daybreak. Brady awoke first, and stirring 
Phouts, each took down the 'deadly rifle,' and whilst all but 
the sentinels were wrapped in sleep, they left the little 
fort, and in a short time found themselves deep buried in the 
forest. That day they marched through woods never traversed 
by either of them before; following the general course of the 
river they reached a small creek^ that put in from the Pitts- 
burgh side ; it was near night when they got there, and having 
no provision, they concluded to remain there all night. 

"Next morning they started early and travelled all day ; in 
the evening the espied a number of crows hovering over the 
tops of the trees, near the bank of the river. Brady told 
Phouts that there were Indians in the neighborhood, or else 
the men who were expected from Susquehanna at Pittsburgh 
were there encamped, or had been some time before. 

" Phouts was anxious to go down and see, but Brady for- 
bade him ; telling him at the same time, ' We must secrete 
ourselves till after night, when fires will be made by them, 
whoever they may be.' Accordingly, they hid themselves 
among fallen timber, and remained so till about ten o'clock 
at night. But even then they could still see no fire. Brady 
concluded there must be a hill or thick woods between him 
and where the crows were seen, and decided on leaving his 
hiding place to ascertain the fact ; Phouts accompanied him. 
They walked with the utmost caution down towards the river 
bank, and had gone about two hundred yards, when they 
observed the twinkling of a fire, at some distance on their right. 
They at first thought the river made a very short bend, 
but on proceeding further discovered that it was a fork or 
branch of the river, probably the Kiskeminetas. Brady 
desired Phouts to stay where he was, intending to go himself 

' Probably Puckety creek, which empties into the Alleghany at Logan's 


to the fire, and see who was there ; but Phouts refused, saying, 
'ISTo, hj George, I vill see too.' They approached the fire 
together, but with the utmost caution ; supposing it to be an 
Indian encampment, much too large to be attacked by them. 
"Resolved to ascertain the number of the enemy, Captain 
Brady and his brave comrade went close up to the fire, and 
discovered an old Indian sitting beside a tree near the fire, 
either mending or making a pair of moccasins. 

"Phouts, who never thought of danger, was for shooting 
the Indian immediately ; but Brady prevented him. After 
examining carefully around the camp, he was of opinion that 
the number by which it was made had been large, but that 
they were principally absent. He determined on knowing 
more in the morning; and forcing Phouts away, retired a 
short distance to await the approach of day. As soon as it 
appeared they returned to the camp, but saw nothing, except 
the old Indian, a dog, and a horse. 

"Brady wished to see the country around the camp, and 
understand its features better ; for this purpose he kept at 
some distance from it, and examined about, till he got on the 
river above it. Here he found a large trail of Indians, who 
had gone up the Alleghany ; to his judgment it appeared to 
have been made one or two days before. Upon seeing this 
he concluded to go back to the camp, and take the old Indian 

" Supposing the old savage to have arms about him, and 
not wishing to run the risk of the alarm the report of a rifle 
might create, if Indians were in the neigborhood, Brady 
determined to seize the old fellow single handed, without doing 
him further ' scath,' and carry him ofi" to Pittsburgh. With 
this view, both crept toward the camp again, very cautiously. 
When they came so near as to perceive him, the Indian was 
was lying on his back, with his head towards them. 

" Brady ordered Phouts to remain where he was, and not 
to fire, unless the dog should attempt to assist his master. In 
that case he was to shoot the dog, but by no means to hurt 

1781.] MAKES HIM CAPTIVE. 389 

the Indian. The plan being arranged, Brady dropped his 
rifle, and, tomahawk in hand, silently crept towards the old 
man, until within a few feet, then raising himself up, he made 
a spring like a panther, and with a yell that awakened the 
echoes round, seized the Indian, hard and fast by the throat. 
The old man struggled a little at first, but Brady's was the 
gripe of a lion ; holding his tomahawk over the head of his 
prisoner, he bade him surrender, as he valued his life. The 
dog behaved very civilly ; he merely growled a little. Phouts 
came up, and they tied their prisoner. On examining the 
camp they found nothing of value, except some powder and 
lead, which they threw into the river. When the Indian 
learned that he was to be taken to Pittsburgh, and would be 
kindly treated, he showed them a canoe, which they stepped 
into with their prisoner and his dog, and were soon afloat on 
the Alleghany. 

" They paddled swiftly along for the purpose of reaching 
the mouth of the run on which they had encamped coming up ; 
for Brady had left his wiping rod there. It was late when 
they got to the creek's mouth. They landed, made a fire, and 
all laid down. 

" As soon as daylight appeared, the captain started to where 
they left some jerk hanging on the evening before, leaving 
Phouts in charge of the prisoner and his canoe. He had not 
left the camp long, till the Indian complained to Phouts that 
the cords upon his wrist hurt him. He had probably disco- 
vered that in Phout's composition there was a much larger 
proportion of kindness than of fear. The Dutchman at once 
took ofi" the cords, and the Indian was, or pretended to be, 
very grateful. 

" Phouts was busied with something else in a minute, and 
had left his gun standing by a tree. The moment the Indian 
saw that the eye of the other was not upon him, he sprung to 
the tree, seized the gun, and the first Phouts knew was that 
it was cocked, and at his breast. The trigger was pulled, but 
the bullet whistled harmless past him, taking with it a part of 


his shot-pouch belt. One stroke of the Dutchman's tomahawk 
settled the Indian forever, and nearly severed the head from 
his body. 

" Bradj heard the report of the rifle, and the yell of Phouts ; 
and supposing all was not right, ran instantly to the spot, 
where he found the latter sitting on the body of the Indian, 
examining the rent in his shot-pouch belt. ' In the name of 
Heaven,' said Brady, 'what have you done!' ' Yust look, 
Gabtan,' said the fearless Dutchman, 'vat dis d — d black 
b — h vas apout;' holding up to view the hole in his belt. 
He then related what has been stated with respect to his 
untying the Indian, and the attempt of the latter to kill him. 
They then took off the scalp of the Indian, got their canoe, 
took in the Indian's dog, and returned to Pittsburgh, the fourth 
day after their departure." 

Beaver valley was the scene of many of Captain Brady's 
stirring adventures. We have recently visited some of the 
interesting localities celebrated as Brady's theatre of action, 
and heard from many of the older citizens their accounts of his 
thrilling exploits. They speak in unbounded terms of admira- 
tion of his daring and success ; his many hair-breadth escapes 
by "field and flood;" and always concluded by declaring that 
he was a greater man than Daniel Boon or Lewis Wetzel, either 
of whom, in the eyes of the old pioneers, were the very 
embodiment of dare-devilism. 

The following, illustrating one of Brady's adventures in the 
region referred to, we give from a published source. In one 
of his trapping and hunting excursions, he was surprised and 
taken prisoner by a party of Indians who had closely watched 
his movements. 

" To have shot or tomahawked him would have been but a 
small gratification to that of satiating their revenge by burn- 
ing him at a slow fire, in presence of all the Indians of their 
village. He was therefore taken alive to their encampment, 
on the west bank of the Beaver river, about a mile and a half 
from its mouth. After the usual exultations and rejoicings 


at the capture of a noted enemy, and causing him to run the 
gauntlet, a fire was prepared, near which Brady was placed, 
after being stripped, and with his arms unbound. Previous to 
tying him to the stake, a large circle was formed around of 
Indian men, women, and children, dancing and yelling, and 
uttering all manner of threats and abuses that their small 
knowledge of the English language could aiford. The pri- 
soner looked on these preparations for death, and on his 
savage foe with a firm countenance, and a steady eye, meet- 
ing all their threats with truly savage fortitude. In the midst 
of their dancing and rejoicing, a squaw of one of their chiefs 
came near him with a child in her arms. Quick as thought 
and with intuitive prescience, he snatched it from her and 
threw it into the midst of the flames. Horror stricken at the 
sudden outrage, the Indians simultaneously rushed to rescue 
the infant from the fire. In the midst of this confusion, Brady 
darted from the circle, overturning all that came in his way, 
and rushed into the adjacent thicket, with the Indians yelling 
at his heels. He ascended the steep side of a hill amidst a 
shower of bullets, and darting down the opposite declivity, 
secreted himself in the deep ravines and laurel thickets that 
abound for several miles to the west. His knowledge of the 
country and wonderful activity, enabled him to elude his 
enemies, and reach the settlements in safety." 

From one of Brady's old soldiers — one of the noble spies, 
who has not yet answered to the roll-call of death — one who 
served with him three years, during the most trying and 
eventful period of his life, we have gathered the facts of the 
following incident. On one of their scouting expeditions into 
the Indian country, the spies, consisting at that time of six- 
teen men, encamped for the night at a place called "Big 
Shell Camp." Toward morning, one of the guard heard the 
report of a gun, and immediately communicating the fact to 
his commander, a change of position was ordered. Leading 
his men to an elevated point, the Indian camp was discovered 
almost beneath them. Cautiously advancing in direction of 


the camp, six Indians were discovered standing around the 
fire, while several others lay upon the ground apparently 
asleep. Brady ordered his men to wrap themselves in their 
blankets, and lie down while he kept watch. Two hours thus 
passed without anything materially occurring. As day be- 
gan to appear, Brady roused his men, and posted them side 
by side, himself at the end of the line. When all were in 
readiness, the commander was to touch with his elbow the 
man who stood next to him, and the communication was to 
pass successively to the farthest end. The orders then were, 
the moment the last man was touched, he should fire, which 
was to be the signal for a general discharge. With the first 
faint ray of light, rose six Indians and stood around the fire. 
With breathless expectation, the whites waited for the remain- 
der to rise, but failing, and apprehending a discovery, the 
captain moved his elbow, and the next instant the wild wood 
rang with the shrill report of the rifles of the spies. Five of 
the six Indians fell dead, but the sixth, screened by a tree, 
escaped. The camp being large, it was deemed unsafe to 
attack it further, and a retreat was immediately ordered. 

Soon after the above occurrence, in returning from a simi- 
lar expedition, and when about two miles from the mouth of 
Yellow creek, at a place admirably adapted for an ambuscade, 
a solitary Indian stepped forward and fired upon the advancing 
company. Instantly, on firing, he retreated toward a deep 
ravine, into which the savage hoped to lead his pursuers. 
But Brady detected the trick, and in a voice of thunder 
ordered his men to tree. No sooner had this been done, than 
the concealed foe rushed forth in great numbers, and opened 
upon the whites a perfect storm of leaden hail. The brave 
spies returned the fire with spirit and efi'ect ; but as they were 
likely to be overpowered by superior numbers, a retreat was 
ordered to the top of the hill, and thence continued until out 
of danger. 

The whites lost one man in this engagement, and two 

1785.] GENERAL LEWIS. 393 

wounded. The Indian loss is supposed to have been about 
twenty in killed and wounded. 

In concluding this imperfect sketch of one who performed 
no ordinary part in the settlement of the west, we regret that 
our means and time have not allowed us to prepare a more 
full and general biography. 

Captain Brady married a daughter of Captain Van Swear- 
engen, of Ohio county, who bore him two children, John and 
Van S., both of whom are still living. Captain Brady pos- 
sessed all the elements of a brave and successful soldier. Like 
Marion, " he consulted with his men respectfully, heard them 
patiently, weighed their suggestions, and silently approached 
his own conclusions. They knew his determination only by 
his actions." Brady had but few superiors as a woodman: 
he would strike out into the heart of the wilderness, and with 
no guide but the sun by day, and the stars by night, or in 
their absence, then by such natural marks as the bark and 
tops of trees, he would move on steadily, in a direct line 
toward the point of his destination. He always avoided 
beaten paths and the borders of streams; and never was 
known to leave his track behind him. In this manner he 
eluded pursuit, and defied detection. He was often vainly 
hunted by his own men, and was more likely to find them 
than they him. 

Such was Brady, the leader of the spies. 


We greatly regret our inability to give in the present edi- 
tion, a comprehensive biography of this distinguished man. 
We were promised through a member of the family, material 
necessary to prepare the sketch proposed, but having been 
disappointed, it will be impossible to do more now than pre- 
sent a brief notice of the family, written by a gentleman of 


the Valley, wliose position and relationship enables him to 
state many interesting facts of family history which other- 
wise might have escaped attention. 

"John Lewis was a native and citizen of Ireland, de- 
scended from a family of Huguenots, who took refuge in that 
kingdom from the persecutions that followed the assassination 
of Henry IV. of Erance. His rank was that of an esquire, 
and he inherited a handsome estate, which he increased by 
industry and frugality, until he became the lessee of a con- 
tiguous property, of considerable value. He married Mar- 
garet Lynn, daughter of the laird of Loch Lynn, who was 
a descendant of the chieftains of a once powerful clan in the 
Scottish Highlands. By this marriage he had four sons, 
three of them, Thomas, Andrew, and William, born in Ire- 
land, and Charles, the child of his old age, born a few months 
after their settlement in their mountain home. 

" For many years after the settlement at Fort Lewis,^ great 
amity and goodwill existed between the neighboring Indians 
and the white settlers, whose numbers increased until they 
became quite a formidable colony. It was then that the 
jealousy of their red neighbors became aroused, and a war 
broke out, which, for cool though desperate courage and 
activity on the part of the whites, and ferocity, cunning and 
barbarity on the part of the Indians, was never equalled in 
any age or country. John Lewis was, by this time, well 
stricken in years, but his four sons, who were grown up, well 
qualified to fill his place, and to act the part of the leader to 
the gallant little band, who so nobly battled for the protec- 
tion of their homes and families. It is not my purpose to go 
into the details of a warfare, during which scarcely a settle- 
ment was exempt from monthly attacks of the savages, and 
during which Charles Lewis, the youngest son of John, is 
said never to have spent one month at a time out of active 

• This was the home of the elder Lewis. It was a few miles below the 
site of the present town of Staunton, and on a stream which still bears his 


and arduous service. Charles was the hero of many a gallant 
exploit, which is still treasured in the memories of the de- 
scendants of the border riflemen, and there are few families 
among the Alleghanies where the name and deeds of Charles 
Lewis are not familiar as household words. On one occasion 
he was captured by the Indians while on a hunting excursion, 
and after travelling over two hundred miles barefooted, his 
arms pinioned behind, and goaded by the knives of his re- 
morseless captors, he effected his escape. While travelling 
along the bank of a precipice some twenty feet in height, he 
suddenly, by a strong muscular exertion, burst the cords 
which bound him, and plunged down the steep into the bed of 
a mountain torrent. His persecutors hesitated not to follow. 
In a race of several hundred yards, Lewis had gained some 
few yards upon his pursuers, when, upon leaping a fallen 
tree which lay across his course, his strength suddenly failed 
and he fell prostrate among the weeds which had grown up 
in great luxuriance around the body of the tree. Three of 
the Indians sprung over the tree within a few feet of where 
their prey lay concealed ; but with a feeling of the most 
devout thankfulness to a kind and superintending Providence, 
he saw them one by one disappear in the dark recesses of the 
forest. He now bethought himself of rising from his uneasy 
bed, when lo ! a new enemy appeared, in the shape of an 
enormous rattlesnake, who had thrown himself into the deadly 
coil so near his face that his fangs were within a few inches 
of his nose ; and his enormous rattle, as it waved to and fro, 
once rested upon his ear. A single contraction of the eye- 
lid — a convulsive shudder — the relaxation of a single muscle, 
and the deadly beast would have sprung upon him. In this 
situation he lay for several minutes, when the reptile, probably 
supposing him to be dead, crawled over his body and moved 
slowly away. ' I had eaten nothing,' said Lewis to his com- 
panions, after his return, ' for many days ; I had no fire-arms, 
and I ran the risk of dying with hunger, ere I could reach 
the settlement ; but rather would I have died, than made a 


meal of the generous beast.' During this war, an attack was 
made upon the settlement of Fort Lewis, at a time when the 
whole force of the settlement was out on active duty. So 
great was the surprise, that many of the women and children 
were captured in sight of the fort, though far the greater 
part escaped, and concealed themselves in the woods. The 
fort Avas occupied by John Lewis, then very old and infirm, 
his wife, and two young women, who were so much alarmed 
that they scarce moved from their seats upon the ground floor 
of the fort. John Lewis, however, opened a port-hole, where 
he stationed himself, firing at the savages, while Margaret 
reloaded the guns. In this manner he sustained a siege of 
six hours, during which he killed upwards of a score of 
savages, when he was relieved by the appearance of his 

" Thomas Lewis, the eldest son, labored under a defect of 
vision, which disabled him as a marksman, and he was, there- 
fore, less efiicient during the Indian wars than his brothers. 
He was, however, a man of learning and sound judgment, 
and represented the county of Augusta many years in the 
House of Burgesses ; was a member of the convention which 
ratified the constitution of the United States, and formed the 
constitution of Virginia, and afterwards sat for the county 
of Rockingham in the House of Delegates of Virginia. In 
1765, he was in the House of Burgesses, and voted for 
Patrick Henry's celebrated resolutions. Thomas Lewis had 
four sons actively participating in the war of the Revolution ; 
the youngest of whom, Thomas, who is now living, bore an 
ensign's commission when but fourteen years of age. 

"Andrew, the second son of John Lewis and Margaret 
Lynn, is the General Lewis who commanded at the battle of 
Point Pleasant. 

" Charles Lewis, the youngest of the sons of John Lewis, 
fell at the head of his regiment, when leading on the attack 
at Point Pleasant. Charles was esteemed the most skilful of 
all the leaders of the border warfare, and was as much be- 

1780.] A VIRGINIA MATEON. 397 

loved for his noble and amiable qualities as be was admired 
for his military talents. 

"William, the third son, was an active participator in the 
border wars, and was an officer of the revolutionary army, 
in which one of his sons was killed, and another maimed for 
life. When the British force under Tarleton drove the legis- 
lature from Charlottesville to Staunton, the stillness of the 
Sabbath eve was broken in the latter town by the beat of the 
drum, and volunteers were called to prevent the passage 
of the British through the mountains at Rockfish Gap. The 
elder sons of William Lewis, who then resided at the old fort, 
were absent with the northern army. Three sons, however, 
were at home, whose ages were seventeen, fifteen and thirteen 
years. Wm. Lewis was confined to his room by sickness, but 
his wife, with the firmness of a Roman matron, called them 
to her, and bade them fly to the defence of their native land. 
* Go my children,' said she, ' I spare not my youngest, the 
comfort of my declining years. I devote you all to my 
country. Keep back the foot of the invader from the soil of 
Augusta, or see my face no more.' When this incident was 
related to Washington, shortly after its occurrence, he en- 
thusiastically exclaimed, ' Leave me but a banner to plant 
upon the mountains of Augusta, and I will rally around me 
the men who will lift oui' bleeding country from the dust, and 
set her free.' 

" I have frequently heard, when a boy, an anecdote related 
by an old settler, somewhat to this efi'ect : — The white, or 
wild clover, is of indigenous growth, and abounded on the 
banks of the rivers, etc. The red was introduced by John 
Lewis, and it was currently reported by their prophets, and 
believed by the Indians generally, that the blood of the red 
men slain by the Lewises and their followers, had dyed the 
trefoil to its sanguine hue. The Lidians, however, always 
did the whites the justice to say, that the Red man was the 
aggressor in their first quarrel, and that the white men of 


Western Virginia had always evinced a disposition to treat 
their red brethren with moderation and justice." 

Andrew Lewis, with four of his brothers, were in the ex- 
pedition of Braddock, and exhibited marked courage and 
caution. Samuel commanded the company, and acquitted 
himself with great ability. Andrew Lewis was twice wounded 
at the siege of Fort Necessity. After the amnesty, and 
as the Virginians were marching off, an L'ishman became 
displeased with an Indian, and " cursing the copper-headed 
scoundrel," elevated his gun to fire. At that moment. Major 
Lewis, who, crippled, was passing along, raised his staff and 
knocked up the muzzle of the Irishman's rifle, thus doubtless 
preventing a general massacre. 

Major Lewis was made prisoner at Grant's defeat, and his 
bearing on that occasion (elsewhere noticed) on discovering the 
treachery of Grant, was a true characteristic of the man. 

Washington, at an early day, formed an exalted opinion of 
General Lewis's ability as a military commander. On the 
breaking out of the Revolution, he recommended him to Con- 
gress " as one of the major-generals of the American army — 
a recommendation which was slighted, in order to make room 
for General Stephens. It is also said, that when Washing- 
ton was commissioned as commander-in-chief, he expressed a 
wish that the appointment had been given to General Lewis. 
Upon this slight in the appointment of Stephens, Washington 
wrote General Lewis a letter, which is published in his cor- 
respondence, expressive of his regret at the course pursued 
by Congress, and promising that he should be promoted to the 
first vacancy. At his solicitation, Lewis accepted the com- 
mision of brigadier-general, and was soon after ordered to 
the command of a detachment of the army stationed near 
Williamsburg. He commanded the Virginia troops when 
Lord Dunmore was driven from Gwynn's Island, in 1776, and 
announced his orders for attacking the enemy by putting a 
match to the first gun, an eighteen-pounder, himself. 


" General Lewis resigned his command in 1780, to return 
liome, being seized ill with a fever. He died on his way, in 
Bedford county, about forty miles from his own house, on the 
Roanoke, lamented by all acquainted with his meritorious 
services and superior qualities. 

"'General L^wis,' says Stuart, in his Historical Memoir, 
' was upwards of six feet high, of uncommon strength and 
agility, and his form of the most exact symmetry. He had 
a stern and invincible countenance, and was of a reserved 
and distant deportment, which rendered his presence more 
awful than engaging. He was a commissioner with Dr. 
Thomas Walker, to hold a treaty, on behalf of the colony of 
Virginia, with the six nations of Indians, together with the 
commissioners from Pennsylvania, New York, and other 
eastern provinces, held at Fort Stanwix, in the province of 
New York, in the year 1768. It was then remarked by the 
governor of New York, that " the earth seemed to tremble 
under him as he walked along." His independent spirit de- 
spised sycophantic means of gaining popularity, which never 
rendered more than his merits extorted.' " 



[Chap. III. 



It has with much truth been said, "that the history of 
the Revolution, is not written, and cannot be, till the biogra- 
phies of the men who made the Revolution are complete." 
This is eminently true of the great struggle in the west. 
The conflict here was with the tomahawk and scalping knife, 
united to the arm of scientific warfare. It was one in which 
the remorseless savage stole upon the infant settlements in the 
stillness of the night, and dealt death in all the horrid forms 
of his peculiar and revolting warfare. It was a war terrible 
indeed to man, but more terrible still to gentle woman, and 
most terrible to helpless infancy. 

To defend the country against the ravages of such war, 


required men of iron nerve and determined will. To lead on 
these men to victory and success, demanded others of no or- 
dinary character. But there were men fitted to the task; 
men able, ready, and willing to lead and to strike. It 
was to the energy of this defence ; the skill, bravery, and 
consummate judgment of these able officers, and experienced 
frontier soldiers, that the west was saved from the diabolical 
system of subjugation, meditated by the British ministry. 

One of the men most prominent in this defence, and one 
who contributed greatly towards breaking down the power 
of the savage, and humbling the dominion of Britain, was 
Daniel Brodhead, the subject of this memoir. 

Prefacing our sketch with a brief notice of Gen. Brodhead's 
immediate ancestry, we will proceed to notice such of the 
more important features of his history, as will be most inter- 
esting, and come more directly within the range of our work. 

Daniel Brodhead, the great-grandfather of the subject of 
this notice, was born in Yorkshire, England. He was a 
Captain in the service of Charles II., and by that monarch 
ordered to America with the expedition under Col. Eichard 
Incolls. On the surrender of New Amsterdam, by Stuyver- 
sant, he was sent to Albany, and was one of the witnesses to 
the treaty with the Indians in 1664. He died in 1670, leaving 
three sons, Daniel, Charles, and Richard. The last of these 
was the father of Daniel Brodhead, the subject of our notice. 

Daniel, or Gen. Brodhead, as we will now call him, married 
Elizabeth Depue, daughter of Samuel Depue, one of the 
earliest settlers in the neighborhood of Stroudsburg, Pennsyl- 
vania. He had one son and a daughter by this marriage, 
and their descendants are scattered throughout the State, 
embracing some of the most extensive and respectable families 
in the commonwealth. 

Gen. Brodhead a second time married, the last wife being 
the widow of Gen. Mifflin. 

General Brodhead was a man of acknowledged ability and 
great energy of character. He early gave indications of 



much promise, and foreshadowed the career of honor and use- 
fulness, which he afterwards run. Scarcely had the news 
of the battle of Lexington ceased agitating the people, ere 
Captain Brodhead mustered a company, and marched to the 
defence of the seaboard. He joined Sullivan, and at the 
battle of Long Island, his brave "Pennsylvania Riflemen" 
literally cut their way through the ranks of the enemy. 

In the fall of 1777, information having been given that the 
Indians meditated a united attack upon the settlements along 
the upper Susquehanna, vigorous efforts were made to resist 
them. In the spring of 1778, Fort Muncy was evacuated, 
as well as Antis' and Horn's forts above, the inhabitants taking 
refuge at Sunbury. The savages destroyed Fort Muncy, but 
did not penetrate near Sunbury, their attention having been 
directed to the memorable descent upon Wyoming. Shortly 
after this Col. Brodhead^ was ordered to Pittsburgh to relieve 
General Mcintosh, in command of the western division of the 
army. His appointment was communicated in a very compli- 
mentary letter, which is herewith in part given : 

• Head-Quarters, Middle Brook, 
bth March, 1778. 


" Sir : — Brigadier-General Mcintosh having requested from 
Congress leave to retire from the command of the westward, 
they have, by a resolve of the 20th February, granted his 
request, and directed me to appoint an officer to succeed him. 
From my opinion of your abilities, your former acquaintance 
with the back country, and the knowledge you must have 
acquired upon this last tour of duty, I have appointed you to 
the command in preference to a stranger, as he would not 
have time to gain the necessary information between that of 

^ In 1778, he styles himself Colonel of the 8th arranged Pennsylvania 
Regiment, and as such, signed as a witness, a confederacy at Fort Pitt, 
between Andrew and Thomas Lewis, U. S. Commissioners, and Captains 
White Eye, Killbuck, and Pipe, deputies, and chiefs of the Delawares. — (See 
Indian Treaties ; also Old Journals, ii. 577.) 


his assuming the command and the commencement of opera- 

" As soon as Congress had vested me with the superinten- 
dence and direction of affairs to the westward, I gave General 
Mcintosh orders to make the preparations and inquiries con- 
tained in my letters of the 31st January and 15th February 
last. Copies of these letters he will deliver to you, and will 
inform you how far he hath proceeded in the several matters 
recommended to him ; and will likewise communicate to 
you, what measures he may have taken, and what orders 
may have been given towards the completion of the re- 

" I had desired General Mcintosh^ to come down after he 
had put the matters recommended to him in a proper train, 
and to bring down a list of such stores and other necessaries 
as might be wanting for the expedition. But I do not see 
how there will be a possibility of your doing this. Had Gen. 
Mcintosh come down, you would have been fully competent 
to carrying on the preparations ; but if you quit the post, I 
apprehend there will be no officer left of sufficient weight and 
ability. This is an opinion which I would wish you to keep 
to yourself, because it might give offence to officers in all other 
respects very worthy of the stations they fill. 

" I must, therefore, desire you to remain at Fort Pitt, and 
you shall be, from time to time, fully informed of everything 
necessary for your government. 

" I have desired General Mcintosh, in case you should be 
absent, to send to you by a special messenger wherever you 
may be ; and I must desire you to repair to Fort Pitt with 
the utmost expedition, as you will, notwithstanding every 

' The orders referred to, looked to a reduction of the British post at 
Detroit, and to an effective blow against the north-western savages. 

2 Some have supposed that General M'Intosh was superseded on the ground 
of alleged inefficiency. But this is a great mistake. Washington speaks of 
him as having great worth and merit; a firm disciplinarian, lover of justice, 
assiduity, and of good understanding. — Sparks v. 361. 


exertion, find the time, which you have for the execution of 
the business, full short for its completion. 
" I am, sir, 
" Your most ob't. and h'ble. serv't., 

" (Signed), G. Washington. 

" Colonel Brodhead." 

He again wrote to him, under date of 22d same month, that 
an incursion into the country of the Six-nations was in prepa- 
ration, and that in connection therewith, it might be advisable 
to have a force ascend the Alleghany to Kittaning, thence to 
Yenango, and having fortified both points, to strike the Min- 
goes and Munceys on French creek, and thus greatly to aid 
General Sullivan in the decisive blow which he was to give by 
his march up the Susquehanna.^ He further directed Col. 
Brodhead to notify the western Indians, that in the event of 
any troubles on their part, the whole force of the United States 
should be turned against them. On the 21st of April, how- 
ever, these orders were countermanded, and Col. B. directed 
to prepare a rod for the savages north and west of the Ohio, 
and especially to learn the best time for attacking Detroit. 
Whether this last advise came too late or was withdrawn again, 
we have no means of ascertaining. Brodhead proceeded, as 
at first directed ; marched up the Alleghany, destroyed the 
Indians' crops, burned their towns, etc.^ 

The immediate effect of this prompt and energetic move- 
ment on the part of the western commander was to bring the 
Delawares, Wyandotts, Shawanese, &c., to a treaty of peace 
at Fort Pitt in the month of September, to which reference 
has already been made. 

' The Campaign of. Sullivan was highly successful, and doubtless con- 
tributed greatly to embarras the subsequent operations of Brandt, and his 
associates, red and white.. It commenced in August, 1779, and terminated 
in the following October, almost simultaneous with that of Brodhead's 

2 Sparks' Washington, tI. 205, 224, S84-7. Western Annals, 216. 


It had long been apparent to Washington and the Board of 
"War, that the possession of Detroit and Niagara by the British, 
enabled them to exert a controlling influence over most of the 
Indian tribes occupying the north-west ; and thus greatly to 
annoy the frontier settlements of Pennsylvania and Virginia. 

Col. Brodhead, soon after assuming the duties of commander 
of the western division, clearly saw the absolute necessity of 
striking an effective blow against these two strong-holds of 
the British. In a letter to Washington, dated Fort Pitt, 
January 23d, 1781, he writes thus : " The whole of my pre- 
sent force very little exceeds three hundred men, and many 
of them are unfit for such active service as is necessary here. 
I hope your excellency will be pleased to enable me to take 
Detroit the ensuing campaign ; for until that and Niagara fall 
into our hands, there will be no rest for the innocent inhabit- 
ants, whatever sums may be expended on a defensive plan." 

Previous to this, Washington, in a letter to Col. B., dated 
April 21, 1779, in reply to his request to fit out such an expe- 
dition, directed him to make the necessary preparations ; but, 
on the 4th of January following, wrote to countermand the 
order, in consequence of the operations in South Carolina and 
his inability to reinforce Fort Pitt, in case of disaster. Feb. 
4th, 1780, he again declined a compliance with Colonel B.'s 
renewed^ and urgent solicitation, on the ground that his regu- 
lar troops would all be needed to co-operate with our French 
allies. The want of provisions too, at that time, was greatly 
felt, which Washington alluding to, adds, "You must there- 
fore, of necessity, confine yourself to partizan strokes, which 
I wish to see encouraged. The State of Virginia is very 
desirous of an expedition against Detroit, and would make 
great exertions to carry it into execution. But while the 
enemy are so formidable to the southward, and are making 
such strides in that quarter, I fear it will require a greater 
force of men and supplies to check them than we, since the 
defeat near Cambden, shall be able shortly to draw together." 

1 Hist. Col. ra., 229. 


The desire of Col. B. to undertake the reduction of Detroit, 
was thus regretfully declined by the commander-in-chief, and 
the wishes of Virginia, and indeed the whole country, disap- 

In the spring of 1781, Colonel Brodhead led an expedition 
against the Indian towns on the Muskingum ; a full account 
of which having been elsewhere given in this volume, it will 
be unnecessary to notice further now. 

Near the mouth of Broken-straw creek, a tributary of the 
Alleghany, stood the Indian town of Buckaloon. In 1781, 
Colonel Brodhead attacked this strong-hold of the enemy, and 
after a hard siege, finally routed the savages and burned the 

We regret our inability to notice in detail all his expeditions. 
They were numerous and extensive enough to fill a volume. 
No better officer could have been selected for the arduous post 
of commander of the western-division of the army. It re- 
quired a man bold, cautious and sagacious, and Col. Brodhead 
was the very embodiment of all these. He proved himself 
admirably qualified for the most trying situations, and ac- 
quitted himself with distinction, and to the entire satisfaction 
of the commander-in-chief. In November, 1781, with the 
consent of Washington, he relinquished the post into the hands 
of Col. John Gibson, a gallant Virginian, who had done active 
duties on the frontier. 

Colonel Brodhead negotiated during his residence in the 
west, two important treaties ; the one was concluded July 22, 
1779, with deputies of the Cherokee nation. In this treaty, 
intimations were given out of a native representation in Con- 
gress, and a new Indian confederacy with the Delawares as 
the head. 

Congress passed Colonel Brodhead a unanimous vote of 
thanks for the highly satisfactory manner in which he had 
discharged his duties on the western frontier. 

General Brodhead received many marks of distinction from 
the State of Pennsylvania. He was surveyor-general for many 

1809.] A MOUNTAIN HUNTER. 407 

years, and filled other places of honor and profit. He was a 
large, robust man, kind, generous and amiable. He died at 
Milford, Pa., November 15, 1809, at the age of seventy-three. 
The portrait which accompanies this memoir is from a minia- 
ture now in possession of his great-grandson, Henry Johnson, 
Esq., a prominent member of the bar in northern Pennsylvania. 


One of the most active, daring and successful Indian hun- 
ters in the mountain region of Virginia, was Jesse Hughes. 
He has not inappropriately been styled the Wetzel of that 
portion of the state, and, in many respects, certainly was 
not undeserving of that distinctive appellation. Jesse Hughes 
possessed in an eminent degree the rare constituents of 
courage and energy. These qualities, so essential in those 
days of savage warfare, gained for him the confidence of the 
sturdy men by whom he was surrounded, and often induced 
them to select him for the post of leader in their various 
expeditions against the enemy. Many are the tales of ad- 
venture which the people of West-Fork and Little Kanawha 
relate of this notable personage. A few of these we have 
collected and now give. 

Hughes was a native of the region to which his operations 
were chiefly confined. He was born on the head-waters of the 
Monongahela, and grew to manhood amid the dangers and 
privations which the people of that section of Virginia en- 
dured during the long years of a border warfare. Early 
learning that the rifle and tomahawk were his principal means 
of maintenance and defence, he became an adept in their 
use, and refused to acknowledge a superior anywhere. Pas- 
sionately devoted to the wood, he became invaluable to the 
settlements as hunter and scout. A man of delicate frame, 
but an iron constitution, he could endure more fatigue than 


any of his associates, and thus was enabled to remain 
abroad at all seasons without inconvenience or detriment. 
Many were the threatened blows which his vigilance averted, 
and numerous the lives of helpless settlers his strong arm 
was reached forth to save. The recollection of his services 
and devotion is still cherished with a lively feeling of admira- 
tion by the people of the region with which his name is so 
intimately associated. 

The following incidents illustrative of his career, we derive 
from sources entitled to every credit. The one which immediately 
follows, is from an old and intimate friend of Hughes, (Mr. 
Renick of Ohio,) to whom it was communicated by the hero 
himself, and afterwards confirmed by Mr. Harness, who was 
one of the expedition. The time of the incident was about 

No Indian depredations had recently occurred in the vicinity 
of Clarksburgh, and the inhabitants began to congratulate 
themselves that difficulties were finally at an end. 

" One night a man hearing the fence of a small lot, he had 
a horse in, fall, jumped up and running out saw an Indian 
spring on the horse and dash off. The whole settlement was 
alarmed in an hour or two, a company of twenty-five or thirty 
men were paraded, ready to start by daylight. They took a 
circle outside of the settlement, and soon found the trail of 
apparently eight or ten horses, and they supposed, about that 
many Indians. The captain (chosen before Hughes joined the 
company) called a halt, and held a council to determine in 
what manner to pursue them. The captain and a majority of 
the company were for following on their trail : Hughes was 
opposed, and he said he could pilot them to the spot where 
the Indians would cross the Ohio, by a nearer way than the 
enemy could go, and if they reached there before the Indians, 
could intercept them and be sure of success. But the com- 
mander insisted on pursuing the trail. Hughes- then tried 
another argument : he pointed out the danger of trailing the 
Indians : insisted that they would waylay their trail, in order 

1790,] HIS SAGACITY. 409 

to know if they were pursued, and would choose a situation 
where they could shoot two or three and set them at defiance; 
and alarming the others, the Indians would out-travel them 
and make their escape. The commander found that Hughes 
was like to get a majority for his plan, in which event he (the 
captain) would lose the honor of planning the expedition. 
Hughes, by some, was considered too wild for the command, 
and it was nothing but jealousy that kept him from it, for in 
most of their Indian excursions, he got the honor of the 
best plan, or did the best act that was performed. The com- 
mander then broke up the council by calling aloud to the men 
to follow him and let the cowards go home, and dashed off full 
speed, the men all following. Hughes knew the captain's 
remark was intended for him, and felt the insult in the highest 
degree, but followed on with the rest. They had not gone 
many miles until the trail ran down a ravine where the ridge 
on one side was very steep, with a ledge of rock for a con- 
siderable distance. On the top of this cliff two Indians lay 
in ambush, and when the com^pany got opposite they made a 
noise of some kind, that caused the men to stop : that instant 
two of the company were shot and mortally wounded. They 
now found Hughes' prediction fully verified, for they had to 
ride so far round before they could get up the cliff, that the 
Indians with ease made their escape. 

" They all now agreed that Hughes' plan was the best, and 
urged him to pilot them to the river where the Indians would 
cross. He agreed to do it ; but was afraid it might be too 
late, for the Indians knew they were pursued and would make 
a desperate push. After leaving some of the company to take 
care of the wounded men, they put off for the Ohio river, at 
the nearest point, and got there on the next day shortly after 
the Indians had crossed. The water was still muddy, and 
the rafts that they crossed on were floatting down the opposite 
shore. The men now were unanimous for returning home. 
Hughes soon got satisfaction for the insult the captain had 
o;iven him : he said he wanted to find out who the cowards were ; 


that if any of them would go, he would cross the river and 
scalp some of the Indians. They all refused. He then said 
if one man would go with him, he would undertake it ; but 
none would consent. Hughes then said he would go and take 
one of their scalps, or leave his own. 

" The company now started home, and Hughes went up the 
river three or four miles, keeping out of sight of it, for he 
expected the Indians were watching them to see if they would 
cross. He there made a raft, crossed the river, and encamped 
for the night. The next day he found their trail, and pur- 
sued it very cautiously, and about ten miles from the Ohio 
found their camp. There was but one Indian in it, the rest 
were out hunting. The Indian left to keep camp, in order to 
pass away the time, got to playing the fiddle on some bones 
that they had for the purpose. Hughes crept up and shot him, 
took his scalp, and made the best of his way home." 

The following characteristic anecdote goes far to illustrate 
the great discernment and instantaneous arrangement of plans, 
of this shrewd and skilful Virginia hunter. 

It is a general belief that the Indian is exceedingly cunning ; 
unrivalled in the peculiar knowledge of the woods, and capa- 
ble, by the extraordinary imitative faculties which he posses- 
ses, to deceive either man, beast, or fowl. This is true to a 
certain extent ; but still, with all his natural sagacity and 
quick perception of a native woodman, the Indian warrior 
falls short of the acquired knowledge of a well trained hunter, 
as the following case serves to illustrate. Jesse Hughes was 
more than a match at any time for the most wary savage in 
the forest. In his ability to anticipate all their artifices, he 
had but few equals, and fewer still, superiors. But, to the 

"At a time of great danger from the incursions of the 
Indians, when the citizens of the neighborhood were in a fort 
at Clarksburgh, Hughes one morning, observed a lad very in- 
tently fixing his gun. ' Jim,' said he, ' what are you doing 
that for?' 'I am going to shoot a turkey that I hear gob- 

1792.] ANOTHER "turkey" CAUGHT. 411 

bling on the liill-side,' said Jim. 'I hear no turkey,' said 
the other. 'Listen,' said Jim: 'there, didn't you hear it? 
listen again.' ' Well,' says Hughes, after hearing it repeated, 
'I'll go and kill it.' 'No you won't,' said the boy, ' it is my 
turkey; I heard it first.' 'Well,' said Hughes, 'but you know 
I am the best shot. I'll go and kill it, and give you the 
turkey !' The lad demurred but at length agreed. Hughes 
went out of the fort on the side that was furthest from the 
supposed turkey, and passing along the river, went up a ravine 
and cautiously creeping through the bushes behind the spot, 
came in whence the cries issued, and, as he expected, espied 
a large Indian sitting on a chestnut stump, surrounded by 
sprouts, gobbling, and watching if any one would come 
from the fort to kill the turkey. Hughes shot him before the 
Indian knew of his approach, took off the scalp, and went into 
the fort, where Jim was waiting for his prize. 'There now,' 
says Jim, ' you have let the turkey go. I would have killed 
it if I had gone.' 'No,' says Hughes, ' I didn't let it go;' 
and, taking out the scalp, threw it down. ' There, take your 
turkey, Jim, I don't want it.' The lad was overcome, and 
nearly fainted, to think of the certain death he had escaped, 
purely by the keen perception and good management of Jesse 

Jesse Hughes, as we have already stated, was often of in- 
valuable service to the settlements along the upper Mononga- 
hela, by advising them of the approach of Indians. On one 
occasion, a considerable body of the common enemy attacked 
a fort near Clarksburg, and but for the energy and fearless- 
ness of Hughes might have reduced the frail structure, and 
massacred every one within it. This daring man boldly went 
forth for succor, and succeeded in reaching a neighboring 
station in safety. Immediately, a company of men left to 
relieve the besieged ; when the Indians, fearing the superior 
numbers, retreated in haste. 

Hughes' scouting expeditions were not always confined to 



[Chap. III. 

the extreme upper regions of the Monongahela. He often 
visited the stations lower clown, and spent much of his time 
at Prickett's fort, also at the stockade where Morgantown 
now stands, and many other settlements in the neighborhood. 
He was a great favorite ; and no scouting party could be com- 
plete, unless Jesse Hughes had something to do with it. We 
regret that our limits will not allow us to give more incidents 
in his very eventful life. 

'?>7^^„' '-' 


1791.] AEFAIR AT CAPTINA. 413 


This incident, whicb was inadvertantly omitted in its 
proper place, is now given as not without interest to most 
readers of our local history. 

One of the earliest settlers below Grave creek was John 
Baker. In 1775 he made an improvement on what is now 
known as Cresap's bottom. During the Dunmore war, Baker, 
with most of the settlers below Wheeling, resorted to the fort 
erected at that point; but in 1781, the settlement having 
become considerably strengthened by new additions, it was 
determined to erect a place of defence in the neighborhood, 
and accordingly, some additions were made to the house of 
Baker, and the whole protected by a stout stockade. Into 
this the settlers retreated on the renewal of hostilities in 1782. 

Several years, however, passed without anything occurring 
at "Baker's Station," as it was called, worthy of special 
remark. At length, in 1791, an incident took place not 
unworthy of notice. Indications of the enemy became mani- 
fest, and strong apprehensions began to be entertained that 
Indians were about. In order to satisfy themselves, five 
experienced hunters were sent over the river to scout. These 

were Isaac McKeon, John McDonald, John Bean, Miller, 

and a Dutchman, named Shopto. They crossed opposite the 
station, and proceeded up to the mouth of Captina, (one mile,) 
and were moving cautiously along, when a heavy fire was 
opened upon them, killing Miller on the spot, and dangerously 
wounding McDonald, who was made prisoner. The others ran 
in the direction of the station, calling for help as they 
approached; and so close upon them were the Indians, that 
they shot McKeon after he had reached the beach opposite 
the fort. Shopto and Bean escaped by swimming. 

Of the men collected at the station was Lieutenant Abraham 


Enoclis, of the Ohio county militia, and he proposed at once 
to head a company and go in pursuit. Eighteen men, 
including all the efficient force of the station,^ at once joined 
the gallant officer, and at once left on their perilous duty. 
Enochs led his men up the Virginia side to a point above the 
mouth of the creek, and then crossing the river, proceeded 
directly over the hill to the creek, instead of pursuing the 

As the whole party were descending to a small stream 
which empties into the creek, about two miles above its mouth, 
they were fired upon by a large body of Indians, and John 
Baker (son of the proprietor of the station) severely wounded 
in the right thigh. The men were thrown into great confu- 
sion by this unexpected fire, and it was with the utmost 
difficulty they could be rallied. But Enochs, who possessed 
great intrepidity, as well as much tact as a commander, 
restored something like order, and cried to his men to rout 
the Indians from their covert. Leading them on with a shout 
of defiance, and a cry of confident victory, the bold and gallant 
officer, like Brunswick's fated chieftain, 

" Rushed to the field, and foremost, fighting fell." 

He received at the first onset a rifle ball in his breast, and 
fell dead on the spot. 

The death of their leader, and a simultaneous outbreak of 
a new body of Indians, so disconcerted the rest of the men, 
that they gave but one fire, and then broke in a disordered 
and general rout, amid the shouts and terrible war-whoops 
of the savage. Every man retreated for himself, most of 
them making their way to Grave creek. 

Of those wounded, was George McColloch, who received a 
rifle ball in his ancle. Ray Vennam one of the party, took 
him on his shoulder and carried him some distance, but 

Shopto, Bean, and four old men, were all the male adults left. These 
were ordered not to leave the fort until the expedition returned. 

1791.] DUNCAN m'arthur. 415 

McColloch, finding that they would be overtaken, entreated 
the other to take care of himself. Vennam concealed McColloch 
behind a log, and made his -way to the fort. That night a 
man's plaintive cry was heard from the opposite shore, and 
on Vennam saying it was George McColloch, those in the fort 
said no, it was an Indian. Vennam, however, was firm in his 
opinion that it was his friend, and accordingly went over in a 
canoe to get McColloch. He had made his way that far on 
one foot. 

On the following day a body of men from Grave creek, 
with most of the fugitives from the battle, went over to the 
scene of disaster. Baker, who had crawled under a rock, 
was dead, and, together with Enochs, scalped. Their remains, 
together with those who fell in the morning, were carried to 
the fort and decently interred. They lie in the rude burial 
place at the head of Cresap's bottom. 

Of the men engaged in this afi"air, it is impossible to collect 
any other names than those of Enochs, Baker, McColloch, 
Hofiman, Bean, Sutherland, Dobbins, Vennam and McArthur, 
The latter, Duncan McArthur, afterwards Governor of Ohio, 
then a young man, had but recently gone to the station. He 
thus early evinced much of that true courage and great energy 
of mind and character which afterwards so distinguished him. 

According to Mr. Mclntyre, young McArthur cried out, as 
they ascended the bank, to " surround them," but the Indians 
having the advantage, spread themselves and would have pre- 
vented this even had the whites kept together. 



The original way of spelling this name was Whetzell, or "Whitzell. The pro- 
nunciation was Whei-zeU. We have several signatures of Jacob Wetzel, 
who was sheriff of Ohio county, all of which are spelt with an " h." Con- 
siderable difBculty was created in the Virginia Legislature, at the time of 
forming the county of " Wetzel," as to the proper orthography. An exami- 
nation of the files in the land ofi&ce, induced the committee to adopt that 
followed by oiu'selves. 

In this decision they were clearly correct. During the past summer, the 
author, after examining various papers in possession of friends of the family, 
was shown an old account book, belonging to Mr. John Eodefer, Sr., an 
aged and respectable citizen of Belmont county, Ohio, and by marriage, a 
relative of the Wetzels This account book is in the hand-writing of Mr. 
Rodefer, and was made at the time he lived in the neighborhood of the 
Wetzels, on Wheeling creek. There are a number of entries in the name of 
"Wetzel," or in German, as it is written, " JVatzal." He said that was 
the manner in which the family wrote it, and that for some time after 
coming to the west, noticed the name in various places upon old books and 
papers in possession of the family, and that it was invariably written, 
" Watzal," or in English, Wetzel. Eegarding this as conclusive, we have 
adopted the style. 

The signatures of Jacob Wetz-el, to which allusion has been made, were not 
executed by that person, as we are informed by Mr. Rodefer, but by a 
depiity. This is doubtless correct, as we notice the name spelled differently, 
in different places.